Monday, 30 November 2009

Peru: Afro-Peruvians Receive Apology

Public apologies are not particularly unusual these days. The UK has recently said sorry for its treatment of Alan Turing and both it and Australia have apologised to those citizens who were abused in state care as children.

Now it's Peru's turn; it is to apologise to its black population for the centuries of discrimination they have faced.
Women's and Social Development Minister Nidia Vilchez said the government wanted the apology to promote the "true integration of all Peru's multicultural population," Associated Press news agency reported.
Peru apologises for abuse of African-origin citizens (BBC)

Unfair treatment is not merely a historical shame; even today, black Peruvians are often disadvantaged:
...only 2 percent of Afro-Peruvians obtain technical training or higher education, and just 27 percent finish high school.
Government Begs "Historical Pardon" from Afro-Peruvians for Past Abuses (LAHT)

I'm in favour of symbolic gestures such as apologies as part of other state measures such as truth-telling, reparations, and measures to ensure that injustices are not repeated.

See also The Age of Apology: Facing up to the Past ed. by Mark Gibson et al.

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