New diseases were brought by the Spain in 16th century when colonisation started that killed many indigenous population. Not only diseases, but also a system of slavery and mistreatment made indigenous population decreased on a big scale. This resulted for those people in moving into mountains in the southern part of the country: Talamanca region. Current indigenous population such as Cabecar and Boruca mainly live in Talamanca still and its number is estimated approximately 70,000 by the indigenous NGOs and 30,000 by the ILO. Its population consists of one per cent of the county and the total amount of Indian reserves are twenty two, and there are eight Indian groups. Mostly Maleku, Guaymi, Cabacar and Bri Bri are spoken.
In terms of Afro Costa Ricans, the first group was taken by the Spanish colonists as slaves from African continent, and then these population synthesised with local people. The second tide arrived around 1890s as Caribbean migrant workers who contributed to construct the railway and work in the banana plantation. Current Afro Costa Ricans mainly inhabit in province of Limon on the Caribbean coast and its population comprises with two per cent of the total population of Costa Rica. In 1949, Afro-Costa Ricans obtained full citizenship, while it was only early 1990s for many indigenous people. Afro Costa Ricans and the indigenous people have been always marginalised in spite of forward-moving policy making regarding minorities.
Indigenous movement in Costa Rica has warmed up relatively recent in the 1980s by the activated Minority and Indigenous NGOs. According to NGOs survey, yet 73 percent of indigenous people in the country live in distant areas where health, education, electricity and water services are lacking. Only 27 percent of the population is benefiting adequate housing (RefWorld, 2008).
In accordance with Convention ILO 169, the Legislative Assembly started working on a draft act that wiould directly influence on renew version of Indigenous Act. To do so, the draft committee consulted indigenous leaders in order to insert their voice into the draft which consists of fifty-one articles. The committee also planned to replace the name of the reservations as territories, since the used term means isolation. Despite these efforts, the process of legislation delayed, and in 2008, there was a complaint made by the indigenous group in province of Puntarenas in regard to the lacking consultation for the plans of the El Diquis hydro-electric project in the traditional territory due to the possibility of flood (RefWorld, 2008, http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/4954ce31c.html).