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This paper presents a review of the literature on ethnic and racial disparities in health in Latin America and the Caribbean. It begins by describing the concepts of race, ethnicity and indigeneity, and provides demographic estimates of indigenous andAfro-descendant populations in the region. It then presents a discussion of the possible causes of racial and ethnic differences in health, and how these should be interpreted in the context of the even larger socio-economic disparities that are observed among the population groups concerned. The paper concludes by focusing on the opportunities and challenges for reducing ethnic and racial inequalities in health in Latin America and the Caribbean.