New study reignites debates about racism in Mexico, Latin America

World Today

A recent study by the Mexican government shows the color of a person’s skin can affect their job prospects in Mexico. The findings have reignited a debate about racism in other countries in Latin America.

CGTN’s Denny Alfonso reports.

The research found evidence that in Mexico a person’s skin color can predict education levels, income and a person’s chances of becoming a boss.

Mexico’s National Institute of Statistics, or INEGI, recently published the results of a 2016 survey.

Dark skinned people had less education, lower incomes and fewer opportunities. For people in this survey, skin color was fate. For dark-skinned people it meant a life of poverty that few could escape.

“Fifty percent of the people that were born in poverty will remain in the same socio-economic status, only 5 percent of that group will achieve a higher quality of life,” INEGI spokesperson Edgar Vielma Orozco said.

More than 31-thousand people responded to the government’s survey. Participants were from different income levels and between the ages of twenty-five to sixty. The data showed in communities of darker-skinned Afro-Latinos and indigenous people, the majority of residents had a lower level of education.

“Unfortunately, we are in a country that because of your skin color sometimes you have to be self-employed. The job opportunity is never given to us,” self-employed worker Ilario Peralta said.

A UN study found parallels in other Hispanic countries. The UN’s Economic Commission For Latin America and the Caribbean, also found white people were more likely to prosper than darker-skinned citizens of African descent.

“There is a lot of discrimination. But I believe there has been improvement and more possibilities in these days regardless the color of your skin,” Mexican resident Margarita Hernandez said.

There may be progress, but the data doesn’t show it. In another government survey back in 2010, nearly 30 percent of respondents believed they were treated unfairly because of their skin color.