Majority of the Indigenous Population in Mexico Live in Extreme Poverty Conditions
Carlos Underwood - The Playa Times
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August 18, 2014

Mexican campesino plowing field with oxen in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. (

According to the National Statistics Institute (INEGI), 14.8 million people in Mexico (around 12.25% of the population) are indigenous, speaking over 60 languages. The majority live in the South or Central-West region of the country in the states of Oaxaca, Yucatan, Quintana Roo, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Campeche, Puebla and San Luis Potosí. Around 72% are considered impoverished.

The United Nations established the World’s Indigenous Peoples Day in 1994 to celebrate and highlight the world’s indigenous populations. According to the UN, this day aims to “Bridge the gap, implementing the rights of indigenous peoples.”

In 2003, the Mexican government passed an anti-discrimination law which made any form of racial discrimination against indigenous people illegal, however Mexico’s indigenous communities still experience marginalization and continue to be disadvantaged and vulnerable.  20 years after the United Nations founded the indigenous peoples day, the state of Quintana Roo has seen little advance in the struggles of its indigenous peoples.

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