Colombia’s main black minority organization accused statistics organization DANE of “statistical genocide” after reducing the country’s Afro-Colombian population from 10% to 6%.
Some 4.3 million people, approximately 10% of the population, identified themselves as black in the 2005 census.
According to the results of last year’s census, only 2.9 million of Colombia’s approximately 50 million people said to be of African descent.
The surprising 31% drop triggered protests from the National Conference of Afro-Colombian Organizations (CNOA), which accused the DANE of trying to make the black minority invisible.
This could have consequences for their representation in Congress where the black minority has the right to two seats in the House of Representatives.
The data provided by DANE make the “statistical genocide” evident again after 14 years… perpetuating statistical invisibility.
National Conference of Afro-Colombian Organizations
According to the CNOA, “there is an under-registration of the population” of African descent that “ratifies the structural racism that affects the Afro-Colombian, Raizal and Palenquera populations.”
The CNOA said that the low number who identified themselves as of African decent is “the result of an institutional framework that ignored the constant alerts made by Afro-descendant and indigenous ethnic organizations” since 2017, a year before the census was held.
The drop would be partly due to difficulties in violence-ridden rural areas where many black communities live and a stark drop in people identifying themselves as black in the cities.
Black minority House Representative Jhon Arley Murillo announced he would call for a debate after the initial results of the DANE became public.
DANE director Juan Daniel Oviedo, who presented the results of the census carried out under his predecessor, admitted that ”there were people missing” in the census held last year.
The director then said his office had used different data sources to correct the apparent statistical failures.
According to newspaper El Espectador, scholars estimate that approximately a quarter of the Colombian population would be of African descent.