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Latin America has 40 million indigenous residents, who speak 420 languages, says UNICEF

December 16, 2008 |  9:33 am

Up to 40 million indigenous people, speaking 420 different native languages, now inhabit Latin America, according to a recent UNICEF survey.

There are a total of 522 indigenous villages scattered from Mexico to Argentina. Of the 21 countries involved in the survey, Brazil had 247 of the 522 indigenous villages, and El Salvador had the fewest. Indigenous populations count for 10% of the entire population of Latin America.

Inge Sichra, who was in charge of the project, said the survey was an effort to educate people about the current life of indigenous people with a hope of correcting social inequality.

-- Deborah Bonello in Mexico City