A general introduction to the origins and history of Latin American populations is followed by a systematic review of the data from molecular autosomal assessments of the ethnic/continental (European, African, Amerindian) ancestries for 24 Latin American countries or territories. The data surveyed are of varying quality but provide a general picture of the present constitution of these populations. A brief discussion about the applications of these results (admixture mapping) is also provided. Latin American populations can be viewed as natural experiments for the investigation of unique anthropological and epidemiological issues.
Keywords: Latin America; interethnic admixture; population structure.