LIMA – The Peruvian government begged a “historical pardon” from Afro-Peruvian people for the abuses, exclusion and discrimination committed against them from colonial times to the present day, according to a ministry declaration published Saturday in the official gazette.
The Women and Development Ministry, or Mimdes, also acknowledged the “efforts and struggles (of the Afro-Peruvian people) to be part of our national identity, to create and spread our cultural values, and to defend our homeland.”
Mimdes said that a solemn public ceremony will be celebrated apologizing to the Afro-Peruvian people, though it gave no date for the event.
In the preamble to the resolution, the ministry said that the government regrets that racist attacks still continue against Afro-Peruvians, a segment of the population descended from the first African slaves to reach Peru during the period of the Spanish conquest and colonization.
The exact number of Afro-Peruvian citizens at present is unknown, but is estimated at between 8 and 10 percent of Peru’s total population of 28 million people, the executive director of the Center for Afro-Peruvian Studies and Promotion, Monica Carrillo, said in August.
The expert said that only 2 percent of Afro-Peruvians obtain technical training or higher education, and just 27 percent finish high school.
In August the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination expressed its concern for the high percentage of people belonging to Indian and Afro-Peruvian communities who suffer de facto racism and a situation of “strutural racial discrimination.”