Friday, November 09, 2007

Regarding "Nearly All-White Argentina Confronts Its Troubled Racist and Religious Past"

COHA would like to thank Hugh Schwartz for his insight into this important topic. Dr. Schwartz was a Fulbright Lecturer and held visiting professorships in finance and economics in Uruguay, Brazil, and Mexico.

I think that this article is quite admirable. Even so, there are a few items that might be noted.

During the first Peron administrations, there was a substantial immigration into the country from Paraguay, Bolivia and Peru, and a substantial flow of persons from Northern Argentina to Greater Buenos Aires and Rosario of "cabezas negras" --both groups of which were almost entirely mestizo, mixed Indian and white (though largely of Indian background). These darker skinned inhabitants continue as part of Argentina's population and are probably of the order of 10-12% of the population.

A small but significant portion of Jewish immigration during the 1890s and early 1900s went to Entre Rios and Santa Fe, particularly to agricultural settlements, aided by a prominent Jewish philanthropist from France. While much of that group eventually migrated to Greater Buenos Aires, some still remain active in agriculture and pursuits related to agriculture. In the past, several of the provincial Ministers of Agriculture in that part of Argentina have been Jewish. Argentina's Jewish population probably was of the order of 350,000 - 500,000 during the period from the 1940s through the 1960s and may have been 2-3% of the population, comparable to the proportion in the U.S. Many emigrated to Israel and the U.S. The percentage of the population that is Jewish these days is probably between 1 and 2%, higher than the 1% in Uruguay (which was once about 1 1/2 %), and much higher than in all other Latin American countries, in none of which is it even as high as a quarter of one percent.

Hugh Schwartz

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