Campaign Update–Mexico: Proposed Biosphere Could Protect Wirikuta

Yauxali and his son walk in Wirikuta - Photograph ©Juan Negrín 1978-2018

The federal government of Mexico has proposed the creation of a Biosphere Reserve in the area of Wirikuta, sacred site to the Wixarika (Huichol) people and the battle ground for a silver mine first proposed by Canadian company First Majestic Silver, and others. The biosphere reserve would cover 191,000 hectares, according to Mexico’s National Commission on Natural Protected Areas. On November 8th, the Consejo Regional Wixarica and the Frente en Defense de Wirikuta anncouned their decision. Wixarika leaders will welcome the government proposal to declare a Biosphere Reserve in Wirikuta, but warn of inconsistencies and dangerous propaganda instigated by the mining company among the local population. Once again they demand to be included in the process as the government prepares to issue a final decree.

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They demand, “the establishment of a biosphere reserve that respects the biocultural rights of the Wixarika people and the campesinos that live within Wirikuta, prohibiting any mining exploration or exploitation in any form, in any stage, within the nuclear zone or buffer zones of wirikuta.  We also demand that the design and execution of a management plan be led by the Wixarika people and consultants of their free selection.” 

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Topic Tags: 
cultural survival, wirikuta, mining, environmental defense