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Survey Reveals Mexico's Indigenous People Viewed as Victims of Prejudice, Poverty

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July 25, 2016

Mostly those polled recognize that life is more difficult for indigenous people. (Greg Vaughn)

To be indigenous in Mexico is to suffer from discrimination, marginalization and poverty, according to a study released over the weekend by the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

The National Indigenous Survey aimed to paint a clearer picture of how Mexicans of European descent or mixed European-indigenous backgrounds, which make up the vast majority, perceive their indigenous counterparts. They were asked to rate the problems afflicting the indigenous.

Some 43.2 percent of those surveyed said discrimination was the biggest problem facing the indigenous, followed by poverty and marginalization at 21.6 percent, exclusion at 5.8 percent and illiteracy at 4.3 percent.

Most people acknowledged that the indigenous live more difficult lives, while 21 percent said their biggest advantage is their enduring traditions and customs, and 18.1 percent said there are no advantages to being indigenous.

Natividad Gutierrez Chong, from the university's Institute of Social Research, said the indigenous have long been perceived as beset by poverty and unending struggle, and that perception in turn prevents changes in attitude.

Read the rest at Shanghai Daily

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