Peru took one giant step toward fighting racial discrimination on Tuesday. A landmark case convicted two officials from Municipal Water and Sewer Services Company of Huancayo for the racial prejudice Afro-Peruvian Azucena Asunción Algendones faced at work in 2012.
According to teleSUR, a general manager first abused Asunción with “hurtful words and derogatory gestures in relation to the color of her skin,” and when she reported the incident, the human resources head did not take any action, even though there were others who vouched that the incident did happen. When Asunción saw that nothing was going to be done at work, she took the case to court.
Because this is the first racial discrimination conviction in the country, it is expected, or at least hoped, to set a precedent for future cases. The Peruvian Ministry of Culture described the case as “a precedent of great importance for the exercise of the right to equality and non-discrimination on grounds of origin, race, language, or customs.”
The two Municipal Water and Sewer officials will be imprisoned as the investigation continues, and they will have to pay a $1,560 fine.