Comment: A poll by Unicef Argentina (in Spanish) of 13-18-year-old adolescents revealed that discrimination is a problem at Argentinean schools. According to the poll, four out of ten adolescents were discriminated at some point and seven out of ten directly.
Skin color and obesity were cited as the main reasons for being discriminated. That was followed by nationality. Sixty-five percent of the adolescents polled said Bolivians were the most discriminated national group in Argentina.
Even if Argentina was populated in the nineteenth and early twentieth century by European immigrants, discrimination against non-Europeans was the rule. Apart from their belongings and hopes, immigrants brought their prejudices as well. It took, however, a ruthless military dictatorship that ruled the country in 1976-83, and the rise of democracy to awaken the people slowly to this social ill.
Some of the most discriminated persons in Argentina are the poor, Amerindian groups as well as Bolivians.
In the 2011 population census, Bolivians were the second biggest group (233,464) living in Argentina after Paraguayans (325,046). A total of 1.531 million people born in foreign countries were registered in the 2001 population census out of a total population of 36.260 million.
While 4.2 million European immigrants moved to then sparsely populated Argentina during 1881-1914, higher birth rates among mestizo groups compared with Argentineans of European backgrounds has allowed the former group to grow in size.
While discrimination and racism are serious problems in Argentina, it is a positive matter that the government has taken steps to make the country more inclusive irrespective of one’s background. Argentina became the first Latin American country in 2010 to approve same-sex marriages.
Here is a link to the government’s National Plan Against Discrimination.
Siete de cada diez adolescentes argentinos fueron testigos de alguna forma de discriminación, y cuatro de cada diez la sufrieron en carne propia. El escenario: la escuela, en primer lugar, en forma abrumadora, y en segundo lugar, la calle. Así lo revela una encuesta realizada entre 900 chicos de siete provincias, divulgada ayer por Unicef Argentina.