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LA YESCA, Mexico, Dec 19(Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Audelina Villagrana has run her ranch in Mexico's Western Sierra Madre mountains on her own since the death of her husband 23 years ago, herding livestock, hiring local Huichol people and even raising a young Huichol boy like a son.

GUADALAJARA — As commissioner of public lands for the indigenous Wixárika territory of San Sebastian Teponahuaxtlán, Miguel Vázquez Torres was at the forefront of the legal fight to recover 10,000 hectares of indigenous ancestral lands from surrounding ranching communities. He was among those who repeatedly urged the federal and state governments to intervene to prevent violence in the increasingly tense region that had been the subject of land conflicts for more than a century and, more recently, an increasing presence on the part of the drug cartels.

GUADALAJARA, Mexico, May 25 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - National, state and local officials warned the Mexican government of increasing violence and the need for extra security in the state of Jalisco, where two indigenous brothers were shot dead last week.

The human avalanche began to flow from the ridgetop of the Sierra de Los Pajaritos around 10 am on Thursday, September 22: 500 indigenous Huichols, heirs to the old lords of the mountains, descended in a quiet tide into the valley Huajimic, in search of historical justice. The expectant landholders, who had succeeded them in the domain of these lands, observed them worriedly as an ominous sign.

A contingent of at least 1,000 indigenous Wixárika (Huichol) people in the Western Sierra Madre are gearing up to take back their lands after a legal decision in a decade-long land dispute with neighboring ranchers who have held the land for more than a century.
At 57 years old, Marcelina López has a very active life. She sews her own clothes, makes beautiful jewelry, raises chickens, sells eggs, cooks, is a midwife and organizes the women of her community; all while faithfully conserving her traditions, those of the indigenous Wixárika people.

Leaders of the indigenous Wixarika people and the Wirikuta Defense Front, the civil society coalition that is supporting them, came forward in a Mexico City press conference recently to give an accounting of how the money was spent – an example of innovation in the face of daunting challenges.

 No further concessions will be allowed until a judgment has been resolved regarding the concessions in the Wirikuta Nature Reserve.

El presente documento hace pública la opinión de los miembros de la Mesa Técnica Ambiental del Frente en Defensa de Wirikuta Tamatsima Wahaa y de un grupo de cientificos e investigadores asesores con gran trayectoria nacional e internacional, respecto a la posibilidad de que el lugar sagrado de Wirikuta sea declarada una Reserva Biósfera,publicado por el gobierno federal mexicano a través de la Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas (CONANP),

This year, however, would be vastly different from years past. This year, the sacred lands of Wirikuta lay under the shadow of an uncertain future. Vast swaths of the protected, UNESCO-recognized reserve had been concessioned to Canadian mining companies, and hundreds of hectares had been bulldozed by agroindustrial companies. This year they were responding to a call that ran through all their communities, spread out through the Sierra Madre over four states: The candles of life were dying, and they would come together there to pray for their renewal.