Long live Wirikuta! Mexico judiciary suspends mining concessions on Wixarika lands

Long live Wirikuta! Mexico judiciary suspends mining concessions on Wixarika lands

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February 27, 2012

The Wixarika people, after campaigning for seventeen straight months to protect their sacred territory, have been granted a major reprieve by the federal courts in Mexico.

As of this moment,

Below, a statement by the Wirikuta Defense Front

The judiciary grants the Wixarika people a suspension to detain mineral exploitation by the La Luz project in the Catorce municipality of San Luis Potosí

Feb. 26, 2012 – The federal courts have definitively granted the suspension of the violations claimed by the Wixarika (Huichol) People in order that no exploitation permit be granted for the La Luz mining project, in the Municipality of Catorce in San Luis Potosí, so long as the core issue remains unresolved.

Given the failure of the Mexican government to guarantee their human rights and with the immovable objective of the integral protection of the sacred territory of Wirikuta, given the agroindustrial and metalurgical mining threats, the Wixarika people presented the judiciary with an injunction for legal protection demanding respect for the rights that the Mexican government had committed itself to protect at the national and international levels.

Wirikuta, sacred territory of the Wixaritari (Huichols), covers the municipalities of Catorce, Charcas, Matehuala, Villa de Ramos, Villa de Guadalupe y Villa de la Paz en el Estado de San Luis Potosí, was declared in 1994 a Natural Protected Area and Natural Sacred Site by the government of San Luis Potosí and includes approximately 140,000 hectares, a place where the federal government has granted at least 38 mineral concessions to exploit the mineral resources, putting at risk the biodiversity, the continuity of the Chihuahua Desert ecosystem, the water quality, the health of the population and the Wixarika people.

The territorial rights of the indigenous people recognizes not only the lands or surfaces in which the peoples are established, but also contemplates the spaces and territories where they traditionally have access, which includes the habitat and surroundings, meaning the integrity of the natural elements that conform the ecosystem.

The territory of Wirikuta represents for the Wixarika cosmogony the place where the essences of life and the birth of the sun are founded, which represents and indispensable element of their cultural identity and for their subsistence as a native people. In this context it is indispensable that the Mexican government consult with the Wixarika people to obtain their free, previous and informed consent in agreement with the current legislation, in order to guarantee in an effective manner their fundamental rights.

The demand for the rights of the Wixarika people has been accompanied by the National Commission for Human Rights and the Office of the UN High Commission for Human Rights in Mexico, who have shown their interest and disposition for the defense of the sacred territory.

Wirikuta Defense Front – Tamatsima Wahaa (the water of our elder brother) by the authorization of the Wixarika Regional Council for the Defense of Wirikuta.

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