Tue. Jan 21st, 2020

The Afro-descendant population in El Salvador demands recognition and inclusion



A group of representatives of the Afro-descendant population in El Salvador demanded on Tuesday that the Constitution of the Central American country be reformed so that they are recognized and respected by the State.

They also requested, through a document presented to the Legislative Assembly, that they be included in the political and social discussions to resolve the main problems that harm the nation.

Gustavo Martínez, of the Original Blue Organization, told Efe that in 2017 they made the first request for reform of the Magna Carta, but they did not have the necessary support for that purpose.

He pointed out that it is necessary for the State to recognize the Afro-descendant population to "begin with a process of vindication towards these people who for years have been under the shadow of discrimination, exclusion and rejection."

"It is urgent to discard the idea that we are all mestizos and we are a homogeneous population (…) it must be recognized that in this country there is a diversity of thought, customs, leagues and gastronomy that make each population different," said the young man.

Martínez regretted that "there is still discrimination against our population, not only by ordinary people, but by public officials and servants who, instead of promoting inclusion and respect, marginalize someone only because of their skin color and customs."

The activist also acknowledged that the current Government, specifically the Ministries of Culture and Education, are "doing their best to work with our population and articulate efforts that allow the recognition of the entire society."

In addition, he indicated that there are approaches with the Central American Parliament and there is an attempt to raise awareness with the general population and public officials to end discrimination.

Martínez added that there is no exact number of people of African descent in El Salvador, but, as indicated, the 2007 state population and housing census indicates that at least 7,000 people in this population live in the country.

In Latin America and the Caribbean there are approximately 200 million people of African descent. Of these, many are at a disadvantage that creates an impact for equal access to education, justice, health services, employment and housing.

According to a World Bank (WB) report presented the previous year, people of African descent in Latin America and the Caribbean are 2.5 times more likely to live in poverty and less likely to finish primary school.

In Central America, the countries with the largest black population are Costa Rica and Panama, with 380,000 and 370,000 people, respectively. They are followed by Nicaragua (170,000), Honduras (130,000) and El Salvador (10,000), according to the WB, which recognizes that the data could be higher, since state censuses are not entirely reliable.

. (tagsToTranslate) population (t) afro-descendant (t) Salvador (t) recognition (t) inclusion



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