To the sources and officers of the Press:

To members of the media:

To the organizations and groups sympathetic to the defense of Wirikuta:

 - The Wixárika Regional Council for the Defense of Wirikuta denounces an illegal and belligerent harassment campaign orchestrated by the Board of Directors of the Wirikuta Ecological Reserve and expresses its opposition to the appointment of Hector Moreno, mayor of Real de Catorce and principal mining promoter, as president of the Board of Directors.

Alarmingly, the current situation that is occurring in the region of Wirikuta, where the secrecy of the Authorities has become apparent and has caused a serious climate of hostility on the part of the mining company First Majestic Silver and its supporters within the Municipal Government. As we have previously denounced, in the region of Wirikuta there a disinformation campaign waged from the Municipal Presidency of Real de Catorce, which seems aimed to create an atmosphere of confrontation and harassment against the traditional access our people have exercised from time immemorial in the sacred desert of Wirikuta.

We denounce the failure to consult with the Wixárika people in the ways in which we traditionally make our decisions, i.e. our Community Assemblies, in the appointment of C. Hector Moreno Arriaga, mayor of Real de Catorce, as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the State Reserve. Moreno has been the main promoter of mining companies given the business relationships he and his family have held. We reject this appointment for the obvious conflict of interest, an appointment that represents what we believe to be an aggression against our people and the people of the region, given the scientific evidence, which makes any new mining projects prohibitive due to the extreme overexploitation of aquifers. Still, through this appointment, the Municipal Council promotes the Mayor as well as mining and agribusiness that continue affecting Wirikuta, most importantly with the illegal drilling of deep wells.

We reject the continued tolerance of aggression against our indigenous people, threatening our traditions in the attempts to limit our consumption of hikuri if we don’t agree to the mining and agribusiness industries, as well as the threats that have been circulating that we will be refused the right to carry out our pilgrimages that we have conducted from time immemorial and that are now recognized under many national and international legal jurisdictions, as well as by our own regulatory systems. So the MUNICIPAL, STATE AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENT should GUARANTEE the physical and psychological integrity of any pilgrim who is a member of our people upon entering the sacred territory of Wirikuta.

We call on the federal government and in particular the President in his capacity as chief of the Mexican State to monitor and not criminalize our ancient tradition and instead will monitor the dangerous actions of the Municipal President of Catorce, who is inciting local people against our people and trying to limit our right to ancestral pilgrimage to the home of our ancestors, upon which depends the fundamental equilibrium of the world.

Finally we reiterate our thanks to all organizations and individuals who have supported us in this fight as the National Network of Civil Human Rights All Rights for All (RedTDT) and the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity and very especially those who with their efforts and art were the driving force behind last year’s Wirikuta Fest, thus making it possible to strengthen the defense of Wirikuta and implement community-based employment alternatives for Wirikuta’s peasant communities, of which in the coming weeks the details will be announced.

Attentively

Wirikuta is not for sale, Wirikuta is to love and defend!

Mexico City, June 25, 2013.

Wixárika Regional Council in defense of Wirikuta

Wirikuta Defense Front – Tamastima Wahaa