31 August, 2014

Racism in Peru exists and must be punished, says UN

Report reveals that discriminatory attitudes are still deeply embedded in Peruvian society.

Report reveals that discriminatory attitudes are still deeply embedded in Peruvian society.

UN calls for Peru to adopt national policy to combat racism and racial discrimination.

Through an official statement, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination expressed its regret for the dissemination of negative stereotypes of indigenous peoples, through TV shows such as ‘The Peasant Jacinta‘.

The Committee asked the Peruvian State to adopt the necessary measures to prevent the spread of messages, programs and advertising that continues to perpetuate the stigmatization of indigenous peoples through the use of racial stereotypes.

This is a precedent for the media to take responsibility for the contents and images that they convey to society. It also provides greater clarity on the responsibilities assigned to the State, enterprises and society as a whole. “

So said Tarcila Rivera Zea, president of CHIRAPAQ, Centre for Indigenous Cultures of Peru, the association raised a complaint against this comedy show to the UN. “We believe that Peru has won and also indigenous peoples,” she said.

The Committee also expressed concern about “discriminatory attitudes that are still deeply embedded in Peruvian society”. The UN body concluded that Peruvians do not understand yet what racial discrimination is. Therefore, the use of racial stereotypes on TV shows like ‘The Peasant Jacinta’ is seen as something “natural”.

The Committee asked the Peruvian State to define this concept in their national legislation and punish all its manifestations, direct and indirect as it is. It also recommended to Peru to criminalize racial discriminations in its penal code.

“We have found out that our society is sick. Racism is an evil that can only be fought through education”, said the indigenous leader.

To combat the use of racial stereotypes, the Committee recommended Peru to conduct extensive awareness and education campaigns, directed to society as a whole, on the negative effects of racial discrimination and to promote the understanding and tolerance among different ethnic or racial existing groups.

Rivera Zea said that education and public awareness are essential for “indigenous youth in our country, who now live in the cities, to not be ashamed of their origin and culture.” Rivera Zea explained that racism is the worst form of violence against women and indigenous peoples because it “damages our self-esteem and creates barriers to our development.”

The Committee also called for accelerating the development and adoption of a code of conduct for the media to commit themselves to respect the dignity, identity and cultural diversity in Peru.

Finally, the Committee requested Peru to adopt a comprehensive national policy to combat racism and racial discrimination.

Since the 90 ‘CHIRAPAQ promotes training opportunities for women leaders in the Andes and the Amazon. After the appearance of ‘The Peasant Jacinta’ on TV this group present a complaint in Congress and later in the third World Conference Against Racism in South Africa. The report of this case to the UN was the last instance of appeal due to the indifference of the creators of the program and the channel.

Translation: Cheryl D Millard.

Observaciones del Comité para la Eliminación de la Discriminación Racial

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