Chapter III: Mexico: las resistencias socioambientales
WIRIKUTA, 2500 ANOS NOS CONTEMPLAN (Posición 1451 de 2367 en Kindle Reader)
Of all the socio-environmental conflicts that exist in Mexico, the most symbolic is the one facing the Huichol people and one of the most powerful and aggressive mining companies: the Canadian First Majestic Silver. The conflict is not only to protect a large transnational industry exploiting a territory that the Wixárika people have protected for centuries, but to preserve one of the most important spiritual centres in the country; the desert of Wirikuta in San Luis Potosí.
The attacks and abuse against the Wirikuta, the mixed-race inhabitants of the mountain range and the Highlands, and the Wixárica people have been numerous in the last five centuries, but we are facing what is perhaps the greatest threat to this sacred place. In addition to the presence to the region of massive tomato plantations and the damage they have caused at environmental and social level, the mining that took place in the region until approximately 20 years ago with the corresponding aftermath of contamination and deterioration of the health of the workers from the mines, their families and domestic animals, and other unpleasant incidents that occur year after year due to violence, abuse of authority and irrational destruction of land; the mining company First Majestic Silver has obtained a concession for the extraction of silver in the mountain range of la sierra de Catorce.
This implies not only the transgression of the laws and pacts that protect the Wirikuta and the Wixárica people and the national and international recognition that they have, but also represent a terrible aggression to the environmental equilibrium and to the health of the inhabitants of this area. The activities that this and other mining companies intend to carry out in Wirikuta are similar to those which have been carried out in so many other parts of the world, a source of irreparable damage of excessive proportions. The rigged and gruesome campaign that has caused the division among the inhabitants is only one of the harmful aspects that can already be seen in the region.