Ideas for Development in the Americas (IDEA): Volume 9 : January-April, 2006: Hidden in Plain Sight: Undocumented Citizens in Latin America
Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)
Identity is an increasingly hot topic in today's world. Whether it's hunting for terrorists, searching for lost children, identifying casualties from the tsunami and Hurricane Katrina, or naming bodies in mass graves, identity is the point of departure. Even the more mundane activities of life--driving a car, getting on an airplane, going to school--are predicated on proof of identity. In this light, the fact that millions of Latin Americans have no official identity is shocking indeed. This issue of IDEA explores some of the social and economic ramifications of having so many people living in the shadows.