Racism in Mexico*

By Erika Robles

April 11, 2005

Although we constantly complain about the increasing racism, discrimination and poverty that Hispanics face in the USA, Indigenous Mexicans suffer the same problems in Mexico.

In a nation devoted to celebrating its Indian heritage, the terrible irony is that Indians are despised. “Don’t behave like an Indian,” are common sentences heard among the white mestizo (person of mixed race or blood, specifically a person of mixed European and Indian) and the criollo (direct Spanish descendants) families. The Indians are despised for their physical appearance, their poverty, and their language. Racism enters every criollo and mestizo family, defining the value and the place of the children according to their color. The darkest one may become the outsider, while the fair-skinned one is a prize.

In Mexico, two different worlds exist, the world of the white and rich population and the world of the indigenous. The Indians have been excluded