Archive for Black Chileans

African Descendants in Chile

Posted in Awareness, HISTORY, South America with tags , , on July 24, 2010 by Mijiza Zeyzey

Chile’s economy was not depended on the free labor of slaves. Because of this Chile was the second country in the new world to end and eventually abolish slavery. An estimated 5,000-20,000 enslaved Africans were brought to Chile during the mid-16th century. By the early eighteenth century there were only 4,000 freed slaves living in Chile. Some legends say the missing former slaves fought and died as solders. It is most likely that interracial marriages caused changes in census statistics.

The children of interracial marriages created a census category called mulattos. In the mid-eighteenth century, there were almost 20,000 mulattos in Chile. The number grew to 30,000 by the nineteenth century.

Historically, governments have tried to portray Chile as a country of European descent. The African descent presence and contributions were ignored. In 2001, the Oro Negro, Black Gold, organization was formed to recognize the African presence in Chile.