Cultural Survival Launches Campaign to Protect Huichol Indians’ Sacred Lands From Massive Mining Project

Xitaima and son in Wirikuta - Photograph ©Juan Negrín 1978 - 2018

Xitaima and son in Wirikuta - Photograph ©Juan Negrín 1978 - 2018

The human rights organization Cultural Survival is campaigning to prevent a massive silver mining project from desecrating the Wirikuta Cultural and Ecological Reserve near the historic mountain town of Real de Catorce, Mexico. The mining project, planned by First Majestic Silver Corporation of Vancouver, would redevelop an abandoned, centuries-old silver mine in an area that is held sacred by the Huichol Indigenous people.

Despite Wirikuta’s protected status and its designation as a UNESCO Historic and Cultural Heritage Site, the Mexican government granted 22 mining concessions covering 15,631 acres to the Canadian mining company. Seventy percent of these concessions lie within the Wirikuta protected area.

For more than a thousand years, Mexico’s Huichol people (or the Wixárika in their own language) have made an annual 300-mile pilgrimage from their ceremonial centers in the Sierra Madre Mountains across the central highlands of Mexico to Wirikuta. Following the path of their ancestors, they conduct religious ceremonies at a series of sacred sites until they reach their destination, the sacred mountain Leunar, which is at the geographical center of First Majestic’s mining concessions.

“If this mine comes,” says Alejandro López de la Torre, a Wixárika traditional authority, “what will happen to all of us? They will privatize the land and put up fences to keep us out.”  To continue reading follow link below.

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