Mexico seeks to vindicate the Afro-Mexican community

By acknowledging the presence of a large Afro-Mexican community, the federal government is moving toward more inclusive and egalitarian policies

Mexico seeks to vindicate the Afro-Mexican community
The Mexican governments, public institutions, and NGOs launched a campaign to urge people to embrace their identity - Photo: Taken from www.gob.mx
English 06/02/2020 15:32 EL UNIVERSAL in English/Gretel Morales Mexico City Actualizada 11:35
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In a bid to vindicate the rights of the Black Mexicans, Afro-Mexicans, and Mexican people of African descent, the Mexican government will implement a nationwide census to learn the exact number of Afro-Mexicans living in the country, which will lead to the implementation of specific public policies and programs that will improve the quality of life of this community, which has been systematically ignored and suppressed.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Una publicación compartida por AfroCensoMX (@afrocensomx) el

By acknowledging the presence of a large Afro-Mexican community, the federal government is moving toward more inclusive and egalitarian policies that in time, will help to eradicate racism and discrimination, deeply-rooted practices that still exist in the country, despite its diversity.

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In order to promote an affirmative response when people are asked if they consider themselves as Afro-Mexican in the census, Mexico’s National Council to Prevent Discrimination (CONAPRED) teamed up with Afro-Mexican NGOs, Race and Equality, COPERA, 11.11 Cambio Social, and the W. K. Kellogg Foundation to launch a campaign that urges people to recognize their origin and identity.

In a 2015 census, at least 1,381,853 people defined themselves as Afro-Mexicans; however, this information wasn’t used to implement efficient and inclusive policies that would benefit the Afro-Mexican population.

Despite the lack of government support and financial aid, the Afro-Mexican community has created over 20 NGOs, mainly in the Costa Chica region in Guerrero, Oaxaca, Veracruz. Unfortunately, as the NGOs have denounced, the Afro-Mexican community still lives in poverty and they don’t have access to education or housing, and health; additionally, they face racism and discrimination.

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Nowadays, Mexican society is becoming more progressive and embracing diversity; however, addressing the systematic abuse and discrimination faced by the Afro-Mexican community is an important change that aims to dismantle structural discrimination and to push for public policies that make the communities more visible.

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For 500 years, the Afro-Mexican community has been shunned and discriminated against. Their identity, their culture, and their presence were erased from history but in 2020, the launch of a public campaign and a nationwide census, the Mexican people of African descent will regain their rights, history, and origins.

Historically, the Afro-Mexican community was enslaved, trafficked, ostracized, and discriminated against. Their identity was erased in different periods but especially during and after the Mexican revolution when the focus was on indigenous communities and Afro-Mexicans were forgotten.

This specific community was also ignored by the majority of academics and historians, who solely focused on researching and representing indigenous communities. Nevertheless, Gonzalo Aguirre Beltrán published his book The Black Population in Mexico in 1946, the first major academic study and research to shed light on the history of African slaves in the Americas and Mexico, the slave trade, their origins, and their settlement in Mexico.

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