UN committee asks Costa Rica to remove 'Cocori' from grade school classrooms citing the book's 'racist connotations'

By Jill Replogle

The U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination wants Costa Rica to remove the controversial book ‘Cocorí’ from classrooms, among other suggested measures to combat racial discrimination. The request to stop teaching the book, which until recently was part of the curriculum in Costa Rica’s grade schools, was made Friday at the end of a nearly monthlong meeting of the U.N. committee.

In a statement, committee members also noted their concern about “racist insults and threats” against Afro-Caribbean lawmakers who have fought against official glorification of what they say is an insulting and discriminatory text.

“Cocorí” is a well-known but polemical children’s book written by the late Joaquín Gutiérrez about a young black boy who falls in love with a blonde girl. It’s content — and popular illustrations of it — incite heated debates in a country that still struggles with a history of discrimination against citizens who are Afro-Caribbean descendants.

In May, congresswomen Epsy Campbell and Maureen Clarke, both of Afro-Caribbean descent, filed complaints with the government ombudsman’s office after receiving a wave of racist threats in person and on social media. The lawmakers had asked the Culture Ministry to withdraw funding for a musical adaptation of Cocorí.

Campbell, of the ruling Citizen Action Party, said she had … continue reading

Via:: Tico Times