IACHR releases 'Report on the Situation of People of African Descent in the Americas 2011'

KAREN JUANITA CARRILLO Special to the AmNews | 8/17/2012, 9:34 a.m.

"In Uruguay, in the departments of Artigas, Rivera, Paysandu, Salto, Cerro Largo and in the cities of Montevideo and Rocha; in Mexico, in the regions of Costa Chica de Guerrero and Oaxaca, in the CentralGulf region of the state of Veracruz, Costa Grande de Oaxaca, the area of Tierra Caliente in Michoacan in the High Lands and the CoastIsthmus in Chiapas, in the state of Quintana Roo, as well as in the district of Muzquis in the state of Coahuila; in the United States, in the District of Columbia and the states of Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, Maryland, South Carolina and Alabama; in Guyana, in the Administrative Areas 4, 6 and 10; and in Chile, in the Region of Arica and Parinacota."

In the Caribbean, where, in many cases, people of African descent are in the majority, racism can still be seen in cases where "the darker the person's skin is, the fewer opportunities of personal and economic development they have."

The IACHR sent out questionnaires to the governments of the nations mentioned in this report in May 2011. The questionnaires asked for information about the current status and achievements of African descendants in each nation. However, the organization notes that it "received replies from 13 member states and 14 replies from civil society.

"The responses to the questionnaire provided useful input for this report. However, the commission points out that the small number of replies received confirms and perpetuates the 'social invisibility' of the Afrodescendant population, its scant participation in the formulation of policies and programs that affect them nationwide and the little importance attached to this grave state of affairs."