Indian immigration to Mexico

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Indian Mexicans
Total population
4,113 India-born residents (2015)[1]
Unknown number of Mexicans of Indian descent
Regions with significant populations
Related ethnic groups
other Asian Mexicans, Indian diaspora

Indian Mexicans are Mexican citizens who are descendants of migrants from India. Indians are a minor, but increasing, group in Mexico and are particularly active in the country's tech industry.


The first Indians arrived in Mexico during the colonial era. During this period, thousands of Asians arrived via the Manila galleons, some of them as slaves termed "chinos" or "indios chinos" (literally Chinese, regardless of actual ethnicity). The first record of an Asian in Mexico is from 1540; an enslaved cook originating from Calicut.[2] The best known "china" was Catarina de San Juan, a girl captured by Portuguese slave traders in Cochin.

In 1923, immigration of ethnic Indians was secretly prohibited.[3] The ban was kept confidential in order to avoid diplomatic problems with the British Empire. This ban, along with similar bans based on ethnicity, was eliminated by a 1947 law that prohibited racial discrimination.[3]

Most of the Indians in Mexico are recent arrivals in the country and almost all of them have settled in Mexico City.[4][unreliable source?] Mexico has a non-discriminatory policy with regard to the grant of its citizenship. The spouse of a Mexican national would generally not face any problem in acquiring local citizenship. Although a few of the NRIs have married Mexicans, they have retained their Indian citizenship.

The Indians in this country are mainly businessmen or professionals. Many of them work with one or other international organization or a multinational corporation. There are also some academicians and scientists among them. They have helped to bring about greater mutual understanding between India and their host country. Some of the Indians work for "ISPAT Mexicana" which is part of the Laxmi Mittal group, well known in this region for having turned around a sinking steel company in Trinidad. The Indian presence in Mexico has been greatly appreciated as fifty other business ventures have invested around US$1.58 billion in the country around 1994 to 2000.

According to the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, there were about 2,000 Indians living in Mexico as of March 2011.[5]

Indian culture in Mexico[edit]

The main Indian community organisation is the Indian Women's Association of Mexico (IWAM)in Mexico City. It celebrates important festivals and organises cultural programmes. A Sai Baba temple, a Vaishnav temple, and a Gurudwara have also been constructed by Sangam Organisation in Mexico City.

Notable individuals[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "International Migration Database". OECD. Retrieved 17 July 2017. Country of birth/nationality: India, Variable: Stock of foreign population by nationality
  2. ^ Oropeza Keresey, Déborah. "La esclavitud asiática en el virreinato de la Nueva España, 1565-1673". Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  3. ^ a b FitzGerald, David Scott; Cook-Martín, David (2014). Culling the Masses. Harvard University Press. p. 220. ISBN 0674729048. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
  4. ^ Rajput, Gopichand (21 December 2009). "Pakistan Hindu Post (PHP): Hinduism in Mexico". Retrieved 30 October 2013.
  5. ^ "India-Mexico Relations". Indian Ministry of External Affairs. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011.