Hideously diverse Britain: the UK’s Latin American community is fighting for recognition

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It’s a problem getting a hearing, says Claudio Chipana. “A friend of mine went to City Hall in London to talk about something positive for our community,” says Claudio, a 58-year-old Peruvian, smiling and wise. “The guy he met said: ‘I’ll stop you there; we have no money.’ Then he said: ‘By the way, what can you tell us about Latino gangs?'”

Meet the Latin American community in the UK. The vast majority – probably about 113,000, is in London. But we hardly notice it. It’s a composite; people from countries such as Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Uruguay, Peru, Chile and Argentina.

It’s a young community. Well educated, 70% beyond secondary level. English can initially be a problem. Even so, consider that they are 10 times more likely to work for less than the minimum wage.

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