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Emma Chegwyn: Equality for Mexico's Indigenous Population Needs Improving

Emma Chegwyn - Xinhua
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August 9, 2015

It is not surprised that Mexico is scrutinized every International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples on Aug. 9 since it has the world's eighth-largest proportion of indigenous peoples.

According to the National Commission for the Development of Indigenous Peoples, more than 15 million indigenous peoples are living within Mexican borders. But as they make up only 14.9 percent of the country's total population, their conditions do not always get due attention.

"As the percentage of the indigenous population in Mexico is so low, they often get lost," said Lorena Vazquez Ordaz, country director for the Hunger Project, a global NGO.

Being indigenous is seen as a disadvantage in Mexico as more than three quarters of them live in poverty in the most rural areas, Vazquez told Xinhua on Friday.

Although the government is spending much money on programs to support indigenous communities, especially in the poorest areas, the simple cash transfers may have addressed the issue in a wrong way, Vazquez said.

The Hunger Project, said Vazquez, tells indigenous peoples how to grow food and build sturdy houses, allowing them to become independent of government handouts.

Read the rest at Xinhua

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