AFRICANGLOBE – In addition to being discriminated against in the streets and the stadiums, Black citizens living in the region have not benefited from economic growth.
Experts estimate that one third of the population in Latin America is Afro descended, but also represent, on average, half of the poorest. In Colombia, 80% of Blacks live in extreme poverty; and in Brazil, 14.5% of poor and 80% of young people killed are Black, according to the World Bank (WB).
They also have only half as likely to reach high school, and this series of disadvantages also are revealed in the capacity of representation of Blacks in political parties.
To Germán Freire, Social Development Specialist World Bank, “entrelos African descent are less present in political office. With few exceptions, such as Colombia, the region is reluctant to grant membership and leadership positions in political parties.”
Freire added that the scenario is so worrisome that outside the arts and sports, Blacks residing in Latin America did not yet have the opportunity to have different areas of expression. “The consequence of this is that they remain in poverty, for which the region is a huge cultural legacy throwing it away,” he says.
An arrangement that also plays against the possibilities of African descent in the region is that with the exception of Brazil, in the rest of Latin America is still difficult to know the size and geographic distribution of this population, as in censuses most countries do not map race.
Nations such as Peru and Guatemala, where indigenous heritage has a great influence on the daily lives of its inhabitants include a portion of its Black population. But in both cases the figures surrounding this sector of the community is also unknown.
A partial exception to the rule is Colombia, whose 2005 census recorded 10% of the population as Black. And in this regard have also been some progress enVenezuela, Ecuador, Cuba, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Puerto Rico.
This worrying scenario caused exclusion consensus among experts that only if you consider people of African descent can be overcome poverty, one of the main problems in the region and has emerged according to ECLAC in late 2013 affected 164 million people in Latin America, equivalent to 27.9% of its population.
“Among the most urgent needs is to find out why racial inequality increases, and exactly how much it is costing to Latin America. And this requires designing policies and strategies to involve people of African descent in the regional development agenda,” says Fabio Pittaluga, senior social development specialist for Latin America and the Caribbean World Bank.
The Brazilian Case
Although African descent currently have little chance of real progress in Latin America, like many Africans prefer to move to the region before moving enduring famine and persecution suffered by much of the continent.
The favorite destination is Brazil, whose image of emerging power led him to be regarded by Africans as the poorest places in the country, “the future and dreams.” They also stress the greater ease immigration procedures and job search compared to the increasingly restrictive Europe.
According to the numbers that handles the Brazilian Federal Police (PF), between 2000 and 2012 the number of African refugees and residents in the South American giant grew more than 30 times. Although this may be higher if we consider the undocumented.
The report stresses that the PF in 2000 lived in Brazil 1,054 38 African nations regularized, but the figure jumped to 12 years to legalized 31,866 citizens from 48 of the 54 nations on the continent.
The immigration routes are mainly by air, but also are made by sea and by land, in some cases, mainly through the northern border after previous stops in neighboring Amazon countries. Most of these immigrants come from Portuguese-speaking countries like Angola and Cape Verde, although many come from Nigeria.
However, xenophobia and other signs of racism, such as some prejudices against Africans in the various public transport and by security agents, are also supported by some immigrants already established in Brazil.
While most people of African descent who have little or no progress in Latin America are suffering discrimination in various areas, others with the same issue but who are successful do not escape criticism and ridicule regardless of where they are from.
The most popular recent example that has endured the Brazilian Barcelona player Dani Alves, who when he was about to launch a shot of fans corner club Villarreal threw a banana (banana) to show the rejection of its presence in the party.
Another serious dose of racism was exhibited by Donald Sterling, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers franchise of the NBA. In an audio heard that his voice would apparently making racist comments to reprove his girlfriend had hung in the social network Instagram a photo alongside the legendary former African-American player Magic Johnson.
This reprehensible attitude cost him a fine of two and a half million dollars, and life ban for any type of activity within the National Basketball League (NBA). Something surely cause Sterling finished selling the team in the not too distant future.
The alarming increase in the number and tone of discriminatory attitudes within the sport sector caused the reaction to FIFA president Sepp Blatter. “Do not close stadiums, remove points and lowering the equipment” was the order in a threatening tone that made the Swiss management to make clear its position on the issue.