A new piece of legislation has been proposed in the Dominican Republic that would effectively erase the country’s Indigenous population.
According to a recent article on Dominican Today, the “Dominican Republic Electoral Law Reform” Bill identifies just three ethnicities for the country’s new citizen ID cards. Those ethnicities are Mulatto, black and white.
While the country’s Indigenous population has been reduced by roughly 98 per cent since 1492 (according to some estimates), the Taino People continue to exist and struggle to reclaim their culture.
An emergency petition has been set up to stop to the Bill from being ratified.
You can sign the petition at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/tainotikiskeya2011/
Mulatto, black and white will be the only colors among Dominicans and will be stated thus in the citizens ID cards (cedula), effectively eradicating the nation’s “Indians.”
The bill “Dominican Republic Electoral Law Reform” states that in the master file of cedulas the color of Dominicans will be established by their ethnic group, and as such only three colors.
The Spanish Royal Academy of Language defines ethnic group as “a human community defined by racial affinities.”
Organization of American States (OAS) and Central Electoral Board (JCE)technicians drafted the legislation to reform Electoral Law 275-97, and will be debated by the JCE prior to being submitted to Congress in the next few days.
The bill also states that in addition to the person’s ethnic group, in the cedulas master file information must figure the serial number for each municipality, the specific identity number, a citizen’s blood type, their father’s and mother’s full names, their digital photo and fingerprints, among others.
The measure announced late Thursday drew quick rebuke Friday morning, with prominent media figure Teo Veras asking the JCE to “leave that as is,” because in his view, it could only stoke “ill feelings.”
Although nearly all Taino Indians perished early during Spanish colonization, the term “Indio” lingered from the many remaining descendants of mixed blood also called mestizos.
The term over time came to describe a person whose color is neither black, white nor mulatto, the latter often called “moreno.”
Indigenous Peoples are putting their bodies on the line and it's our responsibility to make sure you know why. That takes time, expertise and resources - and we're up against a constant tide of misinformation and distorted coverage. By supporting IC you're empowering the kind of journalism we need, at the moment we need it most.