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COVID-19 death rate among indigenous people in Yucatán is the highest in all of Mexico

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
Despite the fact that they make up 30% of the population, indigenous people in Yucatán are far more likely to suffer discrimination and lack access to medical services. Photo: File

More indigenous people have died of COVID-19 in Yucatán than in any other Mexican state. 

As of Jan. 28, Yucatán has recorded the deaths of 360 indigenous people from COVID-19 and a total of 2,529 infections. 

Critics of the government’s COVID-19 policy say that these numbers are evidence that Yucatán’s government is not prioritizing the health of indigenous residents. 

“First they take care of the rich, and then if there are resources leftover they lend us a hand,”  said Maya language author and poet, Pedro Pablo Chimm Bacab.

Earlier: As vaccines offer new hope, is it time for schools to re-open in Yucatán?

Some have complained that residents of Mérida have been receiving COVID-19 injections intended for people in rural areas. However, most reports suggest that people residing outside of the coverage zone are only being vaccinated if there is a surplus of vaccines on any given day.

In some communities, people have been rejecting vaccinations out of fears kindled through social media and a general mistrust of government officials. 

Authorities point to the fact that according to official census data, Yucatán is the state with the highest percentage of indigenous inhabitants currently living in their home state. 

Roughly 30% of Yucatán’s population belongs to an indigenous ethnic group, the largest of these being Maya.

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