Samantha Leyva won third place in last year’s Miss Mexico pageant. An activist who supports Black Lives Matter, she plays an active part in challenging racism in Mexico. She is from Guerrero, home of the largest Black population in Mexico (Instagram Photo)
MEXICO CITY (AP) — A Mexican census report said Monday that 1.38 million Mexicans identify themselves as having African ancestors, equal to about 1.2 percent of the country’s population.
For years Afro-Mexicans had been largely ignored in comparison with the country’s indigenous communities. As measured by speaking an indigenous language, indigenous peoples make up about 6.5 percent of the population.
Mexico’s national statistics institute said the study was based on a 2015 intermediate census in which respondents were asked to self-report their ethnicity and economic circumstances.
The Afro-Mexican population was concentrated largely in three southern states: Guerrero, Oaxaca, and Veracruz.
Afro-Mexicans also self-identified as indigenous at a higher rate than average Mexicans. Based on self-identification, about 65 percent of Afro-Mexican also identified as indigenous, as opposed to 21.5 percent of the general population.