Study unlocks Latin American past

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European colonisation of South America resulted in a dramatic shift from a native American population to a largely mixed one, a genetic study has shown.

It suggests male European settlers mated with native and African women, and slaughtered the men.

But it adds that areas like Mexico City "still preserve the genetic heritage" because these areas had a high number of natives at the time of colonisation.

The findings appear in the journal Public Library of Science Genetics.

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