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African Chileans
Total population
(less than 1% of the population
at the 2017 Census)[1]
Regions with significant populations
Arica, Camarones
Roman Catholicism
Related ethnic groups
Afro-Latin Americans, Africans

Afro-Chileans are citizens of Chile, descended from Africans who were brought to the New World with the arrival of the Spaniards toward the end of the slave trade

War of Independence

A specific group of blacks in Chilean history are the members of the 8th Regiment of The Andean Liberation Army that fought the Spaniards in Chacabuco. That was the Army organized in Argentinian territory and led by San Martin to liberate Chile and later allow the liberation of Peru. San Martin demanded black slaves as contribution to the Liberation Army by the Mendoza landowners, because in his opinion blacks were the only people capable of participating in the infantry component of the Army, and included them in the forces commanded later by O'Higgins. They were included in the Andean Liberation Army and received their freedom after the crossing of the Andes and the fight against the Spaniards. As members of the infantry they were exposed to higher risks during battle. This episode of the history of Chile is very seldom mentioned and the group of blacks has never received any recognition for their contribution to the liberation of Chile.[2][page needed]

The African minority that lived in Santiago, Quillota or Valparaiso began to mix with gypsies, and Europeans, shaping a whole new ethnic and cultural identity for Chile.[citation needed]

Ban of slavery

Chile banned slavery in 1811 through the "Liberty of womb" law made by Manuel de Salas, seven years after he had read the following announcement in a newspaper: "For sale: 22 to 24-year-old mulatto, nice condition, good price." Thanks to this ban, dictated in 1823,[3] Chile became the second country in Latin America to prohibit slavery, after Haiti.

Despite the gradual emancipation of most black slaves in Chile, slavery continued along the Pacific coast of South America throughout the 19th century, as Peruvian slave traders kidnapped Polynesians, primarily from the Marquesas Islands and Easter Island, and forced them to perform physical labour in mines and in the guano industry of Peru and Chile.

Annexation of Arica

Finally, there was one more event that added the African inheritance to the Chilean blood. When the city of Arica was finally integrated to Chile, in 1929, a lot of Afro-descendants began living under the Chilean law. They are part of the "Black Arica", and they work daily to promote their traditions and culture, proving that their influence goes beyond the "cueca" or "zamacueca".[4]

Notable Afro-Chileans

Afro-Chileans in fiction

See also

External links


  1. ^ "RESULTADOS CENSO 2017" (PDF). RESULTADOS DEFINITIVOS CENSO 2017. National Statistics Institute. 1 January 2018. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  2. ^ Barros Arana, Diego (1999). Historia General de Chile: La Colonia, de 1610 a 1700 [General History of Chile: The Colony from 1610 to 1700] (PDF) (in Spanish). 5. University of Santiago de Chile Research Centre. ISBN 956-11-1550-6. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  3. ^ "The Antislavery Movement". The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia (6th ed.). Columbia University Press. 2012. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  4. ^ Rioseco, Virginia. "Oro Negro Foundation:Afro descendants organize themselves". Archived from the original on 1 February 2015.