Afromexicans are a population that since the 16th century had a central participation in social, cultural, political and economic aspects in Mexico, dating back to the times before this country was constituted as an independent nation.
Their ancestors, from the Gambia, Guinea, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Angola and Mozambique, migrated as slaves. At present, the most well-known settlements in Mexico are located mainly in the regions of the Papaloapan Oaxacaqueño River (Acatlán, Cosolapa, Tuxtepec and Loma Bonita), the Costa Chica de Guerrero and Oaxaca, in the central-gulf region of the state of Veracruz (Yanga, San Juan de la Punta, La Antigua, Rodríguez Clara, Hueyapan, Cosamaloapan), the Costa Grande de Guerrero, the Tierra Caliente region in Michoacán, in the Altos and the Isthmus-coast in Chiapas, as well as in the municipality of Múzquiz in the state of Coahuila (Flores Dávila, Julia, 2006).
Afro-descendant populations have suffered historically, and continue to suffer, exclusion, racism and discrimination. In fact, they are not considered in areas such as social policy, legislation and until recently in statistical production, which leads to invisibility, that is one of the worst forms of peoples’ discrimination.
Among its demands are education, health and economic development –in consideration of specific cultural issues– as well as the preservation of their culture, the right to prior, free and informed consultation and political participation, which has generated discussions about respecting their rights, cultural difference, access to culture and self-determination.
In the 2015 Intercensal Survey of the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI), from direct question 1,381,853 Mexicans are considered Afro-descendants, of which 676,924 are men and 704,929 are women, equivalent to 1.2% of the total population of the country. Likewise, in 487,975 Mexican homes, one of the head of the family and/or his partner are considered Afro-descendants, which represents 1.6% of the total (38.1% with female heads). These households are made up of 1,979,249 people with Afro-descendant ties (972,066 men and 1,007,183 women), that is, 1.7% of the population.
The historical invisibility faced by Afro-Mexicans is a cause of ignorance of the important contribution of this population in the past and present of Mexico, which reproduced the mistaken idea that all Afro-descendants are foreigners.