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Mestizo women are sentenced to forced labor for not looking black

More than 130 years after the abolition of slavery in Brazil, two self-declared Mestizo female quota students at the Federal University of Alagoas – UFAL were sentenced to forced labor and a fine for not looking black. The two were accused of defrauding the Quota Law, which reserves places for black, mestizos (pardos, brown, mixed of races) and Amerindian students, according to the classification of IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, the official body responsible for the census). The two were sentenced at the request of the  Federal Public Ministry, despite the fact that neither the Quota Law nor the IBGE establish that pardos look or are descendants of blacks.

Quotas were not created for racial purification

For Leão Alves, secretary general of the Movimento Pardo-Mestiço Brasileiro and alternate member of the National Council for the Promotion of Racial Equality – CNPIR: “This condemnation is regrettable in several aspects. If the quotas were only for blacks, why would they have made quotas for mixed people too? Requiring mixeds to look like blacks is taking from mixeds something that the law assures them. Quotas were not created for racial purification. Or were they? Many mestizos are descendants of Amerindians. Was a black slave more important than a Mestizo or Indian slave? Many mixed slaves had the appearance of white. The most sinister side of this condemnation is that it recalls the forced labor to which pardos were condemned before and for longer than the blacks”.

Posted in Português.

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