Exacerbated Inequalities: The Health of Indigenous and Afro-Mexican Peoples in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Southern Mexico
The COVID-19 pandemic radically affected the lives of people globally. Beyond the data of the number of infections, the way in which it was experienced and its effects present significant differences between population groups affected by structural vulnerabilities. This presentation addresses the results of anthropological research carried out between 2020 and 2022, on how the pandemic was experienced in various indigenous and Afro-Mexican communities in the southeast of the country. The exacerbation of structural and institutional violence in this pandemic context is analyzed, generating consequences that persist today. At the same time, it addresses some domestic and local care strategies where families, midwives and communities have a relevant role.
Lina Rosa Berrio Palomo is a researcher and professor at the Centre for Research and Advanced Studies in Social Anthropology (CIESAS, Pacifico Sur), México. Her research topics are sexual and reproductive health, indigenous and afrodescendent people and feminist anthropology. She has coordinated several research projects on maternal health in indigenous areas and works in collaboration with organizations of indigenous women and Non Governmental Organisations. Her current work focuses on afromexican´s reproductive health and traditional midwifery in Mexico.
She belongs to the National System of Researchers in Mexico and to the line of Medical Anthropology of the South Pacific Unit. She is also a specialist in medical anthropology with lines of research in sexual and reproductive health, gender, indigenous women, Afro-descendants and public health policies. She has coordinated various projects on reproductive health, indigenous peoples and Afro-descendants. Activist, feminist, she has been a member of social organizations and accompanier of indigenous women's organizations for more than 15 years. She is a member of the CLACSO Working Group on Afro-descendants and Counter-hegemonic Proposals, and of the Promotion Committee for a Safe Maternity in Mexico.