An excerpt from Study unlocks Latin American past
The study examined 249 unrelated individuals from 13 Mestizo populations (people from a mixed European/native American origin) in seven countries, ranging from Chile in the south to Mexico in the north.
"There is a clear genetic signature," explained lead author Andres Luiz-Linares from University College London. "The initial mixing occurred predominately between immigrant and European men and native and African women."
He said that the study showed that it was a pattern that was uniform across Latin America.
"We see it in all the populations we examined, so it is clearly a historical fact that the ancestors of these populations can be traced to matings between immigrant men and native and African women."
The researchers found that within the genetic landscape of Latin America, there were variations.
"The Mestizo with the highest native ancestry are in areas which historically have had relatively large native populations," they reported.
This included Andean regions and cities such as Mexico City, where major civilisations were already established by the time Europeans reached the continent in the late 15th Century.
"By contrast, the Mestizo with the highest European ancestry are from areas with relatively low pre-Columbian native population density and where the current native population is sparse," they added.
Explaining the fate of native males when the Europeans arrived, Professor Luiz-Linares said: "It is a very sad and terrible historical fact, they were basically annihilated.
"Not only did the European settlers take away land and property, they also took away the women and, as much as possible, they exterminated the men."
He said the findings could help people change their perception of Latin American history.
Saturday, March 22
European explorers and their dicks in history
A genetic study of Latin America shows that European males mated with native American and African women and slaughtered the men.