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  • Afro-Caribbean calypso music was played after the law was approved. (Photo: Elpais.cr)

    Afro-Caribbean calypso music was played after the law was approved. (Photo: Elpais.cr)

Published 28 August 2014

In a unanimous vote, the Parliament approved changing the Constitution.

The Costa Rican Parliament declared the country as a pluricultural and multiethnic nation on Thursday, after a law was approved by the country's Parliament.

The law will change the Constitution to include the recognition of different ethnicity in the country, as a measure to counter racism and discrimination. The project was proposed by Gerardo Vargas, leader of the left-wing Frente Amplio party, and all 46 members of Parliament present approved it.

“It is not fair that our society is one where white people have some rights and indigenous and black people others...this is not only a Constitutional reform, but it is a transformation in the conduct of our country given that our society also suffers of racism,” said Vargas.

The Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solis celebrated the new law.

“I celebrate the approval today of the law which declares Costa Rica a multiethnic and pluricultural country” he wrote on his Twitter account.

Parliamentry members expect that the measure will also help to increase the cultural diversity of the Central American country.

The approval of the law comes as the new government, led by President Solis, has launched a series of policies to fight racism and discrimination in the country. Amongst these policies, the government seeks to approve a proposed law which would declare racism illegal. 

Despite its small population, six languages are spoken in Costa Rica, most of them by indigenous tribes, and two of them—Terraba and Boruca —became extinct in the beginning of the 21st Century.

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