I have been doing some research into this word and it's historical usage is too varied to not have some major lies be the reason for it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ladino ^^^Take a look. You have a group of modern day Ladinos that are Sephardic Jews and they speak a language called Ladino which is based on old Spanish. Then you have another modern day group of people called Ladinos who live in Colombia and central America. They look like dark Indo Americans. Then historically it gets messy depending on what sources you read. You have the Portuguese slave traders throughout the western hemisphere where Ladino Jews were included amongst them. Then it's said that Ladinos were enslaved black people taken to the Americas, THEN to Portugal/Spain where they were referred to as Ladino. Then you have the enslaved Africans that were taken directly to Europe that were called Ladinos. Then you have a group called "negros ladinos" they were black people from Spain and Portugal that were expelled from Europe with all of the other non Christians in and around 1492. Then you have distinctions made in Brazil like the following: "Mrs. Agassiz quickly comes to identify the traditional demarcations even among types of slaves in nineteenth-century Brazil. She notes the differences between the acculturated ladino slave, the “fine-looking athletic [negro] of a nobler type” in Minas Gerais, and the unintelligent newest arrival, the boçal (82)." http://dl.lib.brown.edu/travelogues/landau.html According to that Ladinos were slaves. Lastly I heard that Latin America was named after the Ladino slave traders and people that dominated the continent. Now where does all of that fit when you include the Maroons, Zambos, Moors, and Creoles? Each with their own unique qualities.