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Was an American Diplomat Kicked Out of a Bar in Uruguay Because She Is Black?

The evidence is damning.


The Associated Press reports that Ambassador Julissa Reynoso was denied entry into Circus, a bar and nightclub in Montevideo, Uruguay last Friday night "due to her race."

Reynoso, an American official who was born in the Dominican Republic, told the local newspaper El Observador that her group was first denied entry because they did not have a reservation. Then, they were told that they were dressed inappropriately. The paper notes that details are unclear but at some point the group was told they could not enter the establishment because of Reynoso's skin color. The paper notes that a restaurant nearby allegedly barred a man in 2011 because of his skin color.

Though a manager at the bar denied the incident when the AP called to confirm the report, Reynoso expressed "surprise with the level of ignorance" shown by the staff at Circus. Photos on the restaurant's Facebook page suggest that the business favors a certain skin tone.

Reynoso told the local paper that this sort of discrimination "is not in line with Uruguayan culture" and that she is considering her next move. She has involved the State Department. Grub Street notes that Uruguay's Honorary Commission against Racism, Xenophobia and All Forms of Discrimination recorded 84 complaints of racial discrimination last year.

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