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Census Highlights 'Extreme Poverty' Among Southern Mexico's Indigenous Population

Lisa Nikolau - Humanosphere
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April 25, 2017

Only 27 percent of indigenous Mexicans finish high school (PressTV News Videos)

A new census in Mexico’s southern state of Veracruz has for the first time measured economic status differences among ethnic groups, revealing staggeringly high rates of poverty within its indigenous community.

María Angélica Méndez Margarito, director of the Veracruz Institute for Indigenous Affairs (IVAIS), said the government of Veracruz was “very concerned” about the figures, which showed that out of every 10 people living in the indigenous municipalities, eight live in conditions of extreme poverty, according to an Organización Editorial Mexicana report.

“There is a lot of poverty more than we thought,” she said in the OEM report, “we now have an accurate census of the needs all over the state and it really is very worrisome, because the pollsters knocked on doors in the most remote communities, where no government had gone before.”

Méndez Margarito said the indigenous poverty rate is rising in part due to a lack of government programs. The Veracruz government will first focus on delivering basic food baskets, she said, before providing housing to those in most need.

After Oaxaca, Veracruz has one of the largest indigenous populations in Mexico. The country has more than 8.7 million indigenous people, representing a third of the continent’s total native population.

Historically, however, Mexico’s indigenous population has suffered more discrimination and marginalization than any other segment of society. According to the National Statistics Institute (INEGI) in 2014, 72 percent of the country’s indigenous live in extreme poverty.

Read the rest at Humanosphere

Related: Yes, Giving Money to Very Poor People Will Make Their Lives Better — Just Ask Ecuador (The Conversation)

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