May 26, 2009

Native stereotypes in Bolivia

Colonial scars run deep in BoliviaDespite having a president, Evo Morales, who is an Aymara Indian, the indigenous groups of Bolivia continue to be among the nation's poorest, working as peasant farmers or cheap labour.

And according to Rafael Mora, negative stereotypes abound.

"There are many myths saying Indians are dangerous. From when they are very young, children in the cities are told "don't go there or the Indian will get you". In cities like Sucre, people panic if you say 'Indians are coming to take over'," he said.

"In the past, people were told Indians would come, rape the women and steal everything. Actually, it is the other way round. Even today young Indian girls working as maids are still sexually abused. It's common for young men to be allowed to use them to get sexual experience."
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Peace Prize for Morales? and Chavez and Morales, friends of Natives.

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