Letter from the Wixarika People to the President of Mexico and to all the Peoples and Governments of the World.

To the President of the United States of Mexico Felipe Calderon Hinojosa

To the Peoples and Governments of the world

PRESENT

We come personally from the Western Sierra Madre to deliver this urgent letter to demand that you keep your word that you publicly announced when you committed to respect and protect our sacred places in the pact of Huaxa Manaká in 2008 and to do so according to the maximum laws of our country and the agreements, decrees, pacts and national and international conventions that the Mexican State has subscribed to guarantee the respect of our living and millennial culture.

We are a commission of agrarian and traditional authorities from the Wixarika Peoples, who together form the Regional Wixarika Council in Defense of Wirikuta, and we bring the word that unites the sentiment of the councils of elders, of the wise singers, of the jicareros charged with sustaining the arduous work of more than 500 community and family ceremonial centers, we bring the word that together in one united decisiveness the feeling of the families of all the communities in Jalisco, Nayarit, Durango and Zacatecas where the Wixaritari live and we want you to respond respecting our rights according to your commitment.

The Federal Government of our country granted 22 concessions that span more than 6,000 hectares in the Sierra of Catorce to the mining company First Majestic Silver Corp. and Real de Bonanza, S.A. de C.V. But the Sierra of Catorce and the whole of Wirikuta, Mr. President, is one of the altars of major importance where our pilgrims make agreements with the gods for the fertility and the equilibrium of the world and of all its creatures and we have evidence that the mining operation would affect in a deep way the ecology of the contaminated zone and desiccate our sacred springs.

In these times of extreme violence in our country, which are destroying our social fabric, with this megaproject they are kidnapping and want to assassinate our mother, The Earth to which they have incarcerated, and they seek the forced disappearance of an entire people, the Wixarika People.

For this reason we demand that those and any other concessions that have as their goal the extraction of minerals or the destruction of Wirikuta in any other way be canceled immediately, because if the object of all of this tragedy is money, with conviction we inform you that it will be infinitely cheaper to get rid of this company than to lament the ecological, spiritual and social tragedy that digging and extracting the entrails of Wirikuta could provoke.

Wirikuta is the heart of our essence. If it ends, we die as a people. We have thousands of years making pilgrimages to Wirikuta and we know by their names the ancestors who live in each hill, each stony glade, each rocky crag, each flower, we have for that according to the international standards the right of traditional, ancestral posession. We respect, nevertheless, the communities and farmers who live in the zone and we pray also that they may sow and reap their food, so that they may live well, care for and be protected for that sacred land whose vocation is not mining but the enlightenment and renovation of the heart of the world.

We see with much concern that despite the aforementioned Pact of Huaxa Manaká and of the public opposition of our people to the mining operation in Wirikuta, you have maintained and inexplicable silence in the face of our demand, our territorial rights have been violated, likewise our previous, free and informed consent, besides carrying out the said mining project will violate the environmental laws of our country because the zone is a Natural Protected Area by governmental decree with its management plan.

The fundamentals of our claim are in the first terms of Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization, in its articles 2, 6, 7, 14 and 15; likewise, in Article 2 section b subsection IX, article 27 section VII, second paragraph of the Political Constitution of the United States of Mexico and its related laws.

It worries us even more, that some operators of the federal government and the same mining company are trying to convince us to accept the mine in exchange that they grant us one of the sacred places that make up the expanse of Wirikuta, the Cerro Quemado o Raunaxi. We have already explained that the Sierra of Catorce is a united whole, the place where, from the floor of the valleys to the peaks of the mountains, and in all of its interior, the energetic spiritual force of our ancestors who permit our lives now and in the future reside. The extension that most coincides with this are the more than 144,000 hectares of the natural protected area. We do not accept for any reason that this type of activity be developed in the zone as it is too great an affront for our people, for Mexico and for all of humanity, besides the evident illegalities that these concessions mean.

Mr. President, we are the original people of this country, we are the ancient root and we reiterate, don’t destroy our Wixarika culture, don’t destroy yourselves for the ignorance of not knowing what these valleys of Wirikuta contain, and the mountains which illuminate the world.

For this reason we come all the way here in a commission to deliver this writing to you. We give you our urgent word just in time. We are singing pilgrims, sowers of seeds, we are the legitimate authorities of our people of corn, deer and sun. We are Mexicans and we dress ourselves in flowers because we sing of peace.

Cancel the mine in Wirikuta, raise to the federal level the environmental and cultural protection and all of aour descendents will thank you – on the contrary, the present generations will walk a difficult road but firm in the conviction of detaining this threat, we anxiously await your formal answer in the capacity of the Chief of the Federal Executive and the one principally responsible for the economic, environmental and social policy of our country.

Pampariyutsi, Thank You Very Much.

Attentively,

Mexico, D.F., May 9, 2011

Regional Wixarika Council for the Defense of Wirikuta

Por Waut+a y Kuruxi Manuka- San Sebastián Teponahuaxtlán y Tuxpan de Bolaños, Jalisco

Octaviano Díaz Chema

Presidente del Comisariado

José Guadalupe Serio de la Cruz

Gobernador Tradicional

Por Tuapurie- Santa Catarina Cuexcomatilán, Jalisco

Juan Torres González

Presidente del Comisariado

Julio de la Cruz Carrillo

Gobernador Tradicional

Alejandro Carrillo Enrique

Presidente del Consejo de Vigilancia

Por Uweni Muyewe- Bancos de San Hipólito, Durango

Santos de la Cruz Carrillo

Presidente del Comisariado

Angelita Aguilar de la Cruz

Gobernador Tradicional

Por la Unión Wixárika de Centros Ceremoniales de Jalisco, Nayarit y Durango

Felipe Serio Chino

Secretario

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