Huicholes del poblado Wirikuta, en San Luis Potosí, a su llegada a la avenida Chivatito, durante la marcha que realizaron ayer del Ángel de la Independencia a la residencia oficial de Los Pinos
Foto Francisco Olvera
Friday October 28, 2011, p. 45
Nine Huichol communities delivered at the official residence of Los Pinos a letter to President Felipe Calderon, in which they demanded the cancellation of the mining concessions in protected naturescape of Wirikuta, sacred shrine of the Wixárika. The demands also included a call to shut down the production of an agricultural megaproject of jitomate production and the implementation of an alternative economic projects for the communities of the area.
This was after the march held yesterday afternoon from the Angel of Independence to the Chivatito roundabout, where a group of riot police blocked their way, and only allowed entry to a commission that delivered the document, upon which then the contingent withdrew.
The mobilization of protest against the leasing of of concessions to the subsoil of the sacred lands of Wirikuta given to Canadian mining companies was led by about 200 Wixárika (Huichol), dressed in white trousers and shirts with colorful embroidery. They carried placards with the names of their villages and walked in silence. Behind them were about two thousand people including students, academics and supporters in general.
The letter mentioned that the communities agreed to ask President Calderon to comply with their demands, based on their constitutional rights "and the word that you gave to protect our sacred sites in the covenant of Haux Manaka, three years ago."
The document is signed by town officials of the Wixárika communities Cohamiata San Andres, San Sebastian Teponahuaxtlán, its annex, Tuxpan de Bolaños, and Santa Catarina, in Jalisco, and El Saucito, Peyotan, Zoquilpan, and Guadalupe Ocotán of Nayarit, and Bancos de San Hipolito, in Durango.
Prior to the decision that the indigenous trditional authorities took to come to Mexico City, on a trip which takes nearly 24 hours from their communities, on two occasions during the Diologues for Peace that were held in Chapultepec Castle, Wixárika representatives presented directly to President Felipe Calderon their demand to canceled the mining projects in the sacred territory of Wirikuta, but received no reply.
So, this week the Wixárika left their daily activities of semi-desert in north central Mexico to make a long journey and walk through the streets of Mexico City, in order to present to students, academics and the general public their opposition to the desecration of Wirikuta, being perpetrated in complicity with the federal government through the Ministry of Economy, granted 22 mining concessions in Wirikuta in the municipality of Real de Catorce to the Canadian mining firm First Majestic. The operations of of this company at that site, say the Wixárika, threatens thier existence as a people, as it is one of their most sacred ceremonial centers.
In the morning a ceremony was realized in the pyramid of Cuicuilco and then the delegation participated at the National School of Anthropology and History, where they engaged with students, faculty and employees of this institution, with whom they shared "the pain we feel for the risk of the loss of our sacred territory, " said Santos de la Cruz, a representative of the council of Wixárika.
He added that of great concern of Wixárika this year has not only been for mining projects in the sacred area, but also because the lack of rain causing a low production of maize. The grain is the staple food of the people and is grown for home consumption and only small amounts are kept to use as a seed in the next plantings.
They noted that the decline in harvest is a sign that they have to maintain strong in their ceremonial activities to prevent the situation from worsening.
At the same time as the action by the Wixárika in Mexico City, a small delegation of the Cuachilchicameh Izkaloteca presented to the Canadian Consulate in Phoenix, Arizona the following statement and demand for accountability to the the Ministers of Government and Public Constituencies of Canada-US-Mexico in solidarity with the fight to
The Law of Exceptions
We call upon the ministers of government at all levels of Canada-US-Mexico and the public constituencies of their respective societies to address without prejudice or discrimination the above clarifications. We assert that these clarifications command rectification of the crime of colonialism and a moratorium on all NAFTA economic development projects impacting the territories of the Nations and Pueblos of Indigenous Peoples until the right of Free, Prior and Informed Consent of the Indigenous Peoples is fully recognized, respected, and protected in the spirit of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.