Once again Wirikuta…. now it’s not just First Majestic Silver Corp., who with the concessions it acquired for more than 6,000 hectares in the Sierra of Catorce plans to exploit silver reserves at the expense of the Wixarika people, the campesinos of the region, the environment and all of humanity.

Now not only the Sierra of Catorce but the sacred plains of this temple of indigenous prayer, which is Wirikuta, which are also within the decree of the Ecological Reserve of 1994 which covers more than 140,000 hectares.

In recent days the Wirikuta Defense Front of Tamatsima Waha’a sent out an alert about a mining company that is currently lobbying to carry out a project to exploit gold within the community of Las Margaritas, in the municipality of Catorce, San Luis Potosi, particularly in the area close to one of the hearts of Wirikuta, the home of the deer, Kauyumari; this is the place known as Bernalejo, the Wixarika sacred site of offerings and hunting of peyote.

To this holy place the Wixarika people have come as well as “people of all colors and languages, they raise up their prayers. From the entire planet they come in pilgrimage to Tewari Yoawi, Kumukite. And our older brother Tamatz Kauyumarie accompanies them and listens with attention, carries these words to the ancestors, the energies of the universe; he is a translator. Later he returns and gives us the answer of the great grandparents, mothers, fathers.” http://venadomestizo.blogspot.com/2011/10/el-hermano-mayor.html

It is here where the company Minera Golondrina,, whose base is in the city of Hermosillo, Sonora, plans to put an open pit mine, which is only possible through the use of cyanide.

According to a preliminary investigation, Minera Golondrina is an affiliate of West Timmins Mining, dedicated to the exploitation of veins of gold in Canada and Mexico. Its base is in Ontario, Canada, and it was partially acquired in 2000 by the transnational Lake Shore Gold Corp. for $319 million.

The company has other important mining projects in Mexico such as Montaña de Oro, Lluvia de Oro, Universo Gold and La Bufa, in the states of Zacatecas, Sonora, Chihuahua and Guerrero. It also has a presence in Charcas, in San Luis Potosí, with the exploration of veins of gold, silver, lead, gold and zinc.

It’s important to point out that this new threat is located integrally within what according to the zoning of the reserve’s management plan is designated “Buffer zone for traditional use,” in said zone “it is permitted to carry out traditional activities utilizing the natural resources that were practiced before the establishment of the Reserve, if and when it does not cause significant alterations to the ecosystems. The permitted activities are those that permit the satisfaction of the basic economic and cultural needs of the habitants of the sacred site and the cultural necessities of the Wixarika people.”

In recent days a company called Minera Cascabel SA de CV which was said to be contracted by the company Minera Golondrina SA de CV in order to carry out exploration work, attended a community meeting in Las Margaritas with the objective of getting a document of authorization from the assembly that would permit them to begin mining exploration. They denied having knowledge of the existence of the Ecological Reserve, assuring that Minera Golondrina had just granted the project to them; this is illogical given that both companies have the same address, and are located in the same office on Ave. 13, No. 100, in the colonia of Buganvilias, of the city of Hermosillo, Sonora.

Included in its plan is the exploitation of the area around the community of San Antonio de Coronados, the part that has been best conserved ecologically in the entire region given that it was at the margin of the historic mining activity, in contrast to the area in the northern Sierra de Catorce, where the vegetation has been completely altered, suffering a transformation from pine-live oak forest and elm to xerophilous forest adapted to dry conditions.

The offer of employment and the supposed economic benefits derived from the mining activity arrive in a moment of high vulnerability in the zone, principally because of the lack of rain that is particularly acute this year, with many parcels prepared for planting but the rains never arrived; those who risked planting harvested tiny stalks of stubble less than a foot tall.

One of the principal reasons for the lack of rain is the impact of the climate modification that for several years practiced by the agroindustrial industries that operate in the region, which prevent the clouds from precipitating over the lands of the campesinos who depend on it.

It is important to mention that the entrance of the mining industry was discovered just a few days after the Commission for the Development of Indigenous Peoples initiated a supposed protective action for Wirikuta, georeferencing the sacred sites; now it is more than evident the farce that this action represents and the theater that they are insisting on acting out to debilitate the huge opposition to mining in Wirikuta that has fired up the Wixarika people and their alliance with the civil society in the Wirikuta Defense Front.

The Development Plan of the state of San Luis Potosí designed to satisfy the agenda of exploitation of the US and Canadian transnationals continues down a road against humanity, pitting greed against the sacred, in which the Wixarika people and the national and international Civil Society stand up against this outrage of capitalism.

Tunuari and Cristian Chavez
LA JORNADA JALISCO, 14 de octubre 2011

 Texto en español: wirikuta/?p=