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- Oct 2015
They did not. According to the best estimates, there are some 45m indigenous people in Latin America today. Who are they? Those who define themselves thus, say social scientists. That self-definition does not turn on language and dress, nor still less on living in a rural community (though all those elements may be important to Indian cultural identities). The rise of the new Indian movements has several causes. First and foremost, most indigenous Latin Americans still live in poverty, and many in extreme poverty. Compared with the rest of the population, they have fewer years of schooling and are less likely to enjoy basic services, according to the World Bank. While access to primary schooling is now nearly universal, that is not true of higher education. Whereas 18% of Ecuadoreans aged between 18 and 25 are in full-time education, the figure for indigenous Ecuadoreans is only 1%, reckons Fernando García, an anthropologist at FLACSO, a postgraduate school in Quito.
The Economist article (2004) recaping the overarching increase in Indigeniety and the problems it faces in our modern capitalist society.