Members of indigenous communities from the isolated highlands of northern Jalisco marched Friday in Guadalajara in protest at the Mexican government’s decision to allow a Canadian mining company to explore and develop mineral deposits in a part of San Luis Potosi State they say is a sacred area for their people.
The 6,327-hectare property lies in the Real de Catorce region, 25 kilometers west of Matehuala, and was purchased by Vancouver-based First Majestic Silver Corporation in November 2009. Almost 70 percent of the land falls inside a sacred area for the Wixárika (the traditional name for the Huichols), who make an annual pilgrimage there to carry out religious observances and gather peyote, the hallucinogenic cactus.
As well as Huichols, Friday morning’s march included students and members of NGOs that are calling for the federal government to revoke the mining concession.
Local reporters commented that they couldn’t recall a previous occasion when so many members of an indigenous tribe had taken part in a demonstration in Guadalajara.