Wixáritari Indians Fight Mining in Sacred Desert Site
IPS, 28 October 2011

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO: Some 200 Wixáritari or Huichol men, women and children traveled 20 hours from western Mexico to the capital to defend their sacred ceremonial sites from silver mining. The Wixáritari are one of the few indigenous groups in this country who have largely preserved their prehispanic spiritual identity. They worship the gods of maize, eagles, deer and peyote, a spineless cactus (Lophophora williamsii) that has hallucinogenic properties when ingested. Peyote doesn’t grow in the western Sierra Madre mountains where the Wixáritari live, but is abundant in Wirikuta. Wirikuta is a nature reserve considered sacred by the Wixáritari, who make an annual pilgrimage there by foot every year from their villages in the western states. The Mexican government has granted mining concessions to two Canadian companies, including in Wirikuta. Members of the Salvemos Wirikuta (Save Wirikuta) movement say there are at least 30 mining projects in the sacred region, which has been declared by UNESCO a Historic and Cultural Heritage Site. Read the article …