Gerardo Ruiz Smith speaking to those who attended the training in Wirikuta.

Regenerative agriculture expert Gerardo Ruiz Smith, right, is passionate about bringing back keystone species like the giant mesquite that the group stood under as he shared stories and expertise. (Diana Negrín photo)

Corn and Marigolds in Tuapurie ~ Photograph ©Diana Negrín 2021

Corn and Marigolds in Tuapurie ~ ©Diana Negrín 2021

Wixarika News

Reunión de wixaritari y miembros de la Iglesia Nativa Americana - Fotógrafia ©Tracy Barnett 2011
02/17/2011

Efren was one of eight Wixarika leaders chosen by their communities in the highlands of Jalisco, Durango and Nayarit to travel from their communities to this town in Mirando City, Texas. They were there to attend the International Convention of the Native American Church, a union of Native American peoples of North America dedicated to preserving the right to traditional use of the sacred peyote plant, or medicine as it is known.

Xitaima and son in Wirikuta - Photograph ©Juan Negrín 1978 - 2018
01/03/2011

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.

Tuimayau ~ ©Juan Negrín 1990
01/01/2011

Wirikuta is one of the most important natural sacred sites of the Wixárika (Huichol) indigenous people and the world. The Wixárika people live in the states of Jalisco, Nayarit and Durango and are recognized for having preserved their spiritual identity. They have continued to practice their cultural and religious traditions for thousands of years. Wirikuta is the birthplace of the sun and the territory where the different Wixárika communities make their pilgrimage, recreating the route taken by their spiritual ancestors to sustain the essence of life on this planet. In this desert springs the peyote or jicuri, the cactus that the Wixárika ritually ingest to receive the “gift of seeing”.

Maude Barlow atop Cerro Quemado with Santos de la Cruz 2010
12/31/2010

Canadian mining corporations were not necessarily directly responsible for the deaths and acts of intimidation and violence, but some of them were carried out by company security personnel and current or former employees. So it may be the case that the implicated companies are not legally liable, but alongside the local elites and states that license and promote extractive activities, they at the least bear a moral responsibility for creating the situations of conflict in which assassinations and other acts of violence take place.

First press conference with an international audience at COP 14 Climate Talks in Cancún, 2011. With Rodolfo Cosio, Jesus Lara, and Antonio Carrillo. Photograph ©Tracy Barnett
12/06/2010

The Huicholes, who call themselves Wixarika, make pilgrimages to their ceremonial place in the Sierra Madres across the Chihuahua desert to Leunar in Mexico, their sacred mountain where the sun first rose. A Canadian mining company, First Majestic Silver Corporation, plans to exploit and mine this area. The company is planning to use cyanide to mine the sacred region. This disastrous mining will destroy the ecosystem and the sacred places of the Wixarika.