jueves, 7 de marzo de 2013

Summing The Wirikuta defense (December 2011 - February 2013)

In this sacred territory, which has also won the hearts of thousands of Mexicans not Wixaritari and thousands of people around the world, the Mexican government has delivered at least 22 mining concessions to the Canadian company First Majestic Silver Corp in the area of ​​Real de Catorce, through the Mexican Real Bonanza SA de CV. 70% of the 6000 326.58 hectares of concession area is within the Reserve Wirikuta.
In December 2011, it was announce the launch of the “Project Universe”, a mega project of the Canadian mining company Revolution Resources. http://www.revolutionresourcescorp.com/properties/mexico/universo/

This project makes the 6000 326 hectares of the First Majestic look as insignificant. The Universe Project seeks to exploit mineral resources in 59.678 hectares within the Protected Natural Area Wirikuta, representing no less than 42.56% of the total area of Wirikuta. By the type of the deposits, it is possible that the method most likely to use it would be that of the open pit, however this is an assumption, and the method in benefit it would  possibly be by cyanide leaching or other products such as  xanthine that are  equally harmful. The Universe Project has four active mining concessions. The Bernalejo region is one of the highlights of Wirikuta, where the hunt of deer takes place, of Kauyumari, area of wixarika where the delivery of sacred offerings and peyote hunt take place.
The large amounts of water used by the mega mining would cause the drying up of the river basins, which according to reports from the National Water Commission, are already overexploited and have little resilience in this region. Moreover, the sacred springs where the people of wixarika gather their blessed waters are at risk of being contaminated with cyanide, xanthine and heavy metals.
These mining threats are within what,-according to the zoning of the reserve management program- called the buffer zone for traditional use, in that area "can be made the traditional activities of exploitation of natural resources that were performed before the establishment of the Reserve, provided that they do not cause significant changes to the ecosystems. The permitted activities are those that allow the satisfaction of basic economic needs and cultural rights of the inhabitants of the holy site and the cultural needs of the people Wixarika."

There are other mining concessions bordering the Wirikuta region that are found in the so-called zone of influence of the Wirikuta Reserve. This is the case of the Presa de Santa Gertrudis, Charcas Township, concession that also is part of the project the Universe. According to testimonies collected by the National Human Rights Commission, there would be explorations in a thousand feet deep. This represents a risk to the aquifer Venegas-Catorce, which is a fundamental part of Wirikuta, which would be directly affected in its water system, its flora and fauna.

A fourth threat in act: agroindustrial tomato companies are dismantling to zero several properties located within the reserve, without presenting any environmental impact study before SEMARNAT. While following a citizen complaint, PROFEPA has commanded the tomato companies to shut down. These continue to work ignoring the closure order, without any authority at any level present to enforce the law. The illegal clearing perpetrated by these companies is done in areas of high environmental value, where the peyote and other cactuses protected by the Mexican law grow, including Ferocactus pilosus, Ferocactus hamatacanthus, Coryphantha poselgeriana, Echinocactus platyacanthus, Leuchtenbergia principis. In addition, these same companies are responsible for the drought in recent years, as they bombarded the clouds with chemicals in order to prevent the rain, so necessary for the farmers who depend on it, a situation that has worsened poverty and migration from the area. For the peasants of the ejidos in Wirikuta this has been the worst drought in 50 years.

On the 6th and 7th of  February 2012 was carried out in Wirikuta the Wixárika Traditional survey, which brought together more than 17 ceremonial centers of the people of Wixárika and who expressed the Wirikuta Statement.

To learn more about the Traditional Wixárika Evaluation: http://venadomestizo.blogspot.mx/p/renovando-las-velas-de-la-vida-en.html

On the 24 of May, 2012, two days before it took place the Wirikuta Fest, the Federal government through the Ministry of Economy, presented the results of the studies of the georeferencing, (which were not consensed by all of the ​​Wixaritari communities) and announces the creation of the National Mining Reserve in 45,000 hectares of the Wirikuta region. At the same time as well, the First Majestic Silver Corp delivers to the federal government a mining lot of 761 has.  for the National Mining Reserve, making believe with these measures that Wirikuta its free from mining.

A day later, on May 25, the Wixárika Regional Council in defend of Wirikuta gives a press conference presenting its position before the Federal government announcements, making it clear that no mining lease has been canceled, that the work of the First Majestic, of the Revolution Resources and of the tomatoe companies (Jitomateras) still ongoing and that the Wirikuta protection is more an act for the media than a genuine political will to protect a region unique for its ecological, cultural and spiritual value, as well as the respect for an ancient culture. http://frenteendefensadewirikuta.org/wirikuta/?p=2941

When published in the Official Journal of the Federation the Decree of the National Mining Reserve, (late July 2012) The Wixárika Regional Council, through the Front for the Defense of Wirikuta, issued a statement in which they clearly states that "the creation of the National mining Reserve does not solve the problem of mining concessions and agribusiness in Wirikuta "http://frenteendefensadewirikuta.org/wirikuta/?p=3228 and that the 79 mining concessions  that existed before, remain valid, occupying the same 98.000 hectares, which constitute 70% of the Protected Natural Area of the Wirikuta region.

To read about the Wirikuta Fest:

Words of Eusebio, Wixàrika chaman, in the Wirikuta Fest:

From July 2012 to the end of the same yea, Wirikuta and the Wixárika people's struggle, supported by the national and the international civil society, remains today in the national political agenda and is subject to the media. In late September, the National Human Rights Commission issued recommendations to 13 federal, state and municipal government agencies,  which clearly indicates the violation of the collective rights of the people Wixárika, and that cannot justified the mining in Wirikuta. http://venadomestizo.blogspot.mx/2012/10/la-comision-nacional-de-derechos.html and issues  a press release about it: http://venadomestizo.blogspot.mx/2012/10/violacion-derechos-humanos-colectivos.html

On the other hand, the Federal Institute of Access to Information (IFAI), requires the CDI  to present the documents handed to UNESCO which postulate Wirikuta as a Intangible Cultural Human Heritage, that application was not consulted fully with the Wixárika people and several communities showed their inconformity. http://venadomestizo.blogspot.mx/2012/10/cdi-debe-revelar-la-documentacion-que.html

On October 15, 2012, SEMARNAT put to public consultation the business case for Wirikuta to be declared a Biosphere Reserve. This proposal should be studied to see if it makes clear not to allow toxic mining and agribusiness, responsible for devastating the environment, if it´s notlike tat, they would not be responding to the demands of the Wixárika people and of the national and international society, that clearly state that does not want either mining concessions nor exploration projects and much less mineral exploitation in the Wirikuta region. http://venadomestizo.blogspot.mx/2012/10/estudio-justificativo-para-declarar.html

In the month of November 2012 During the consultation process for Wirikuta to be declared a Biosphere Reserve, the Front for the Defense of Wirikuta Tamatsima Wahaa presented its position. Wixaritari authorities, scientists, environmental and biocultural experts,  settlers of Real de Catorce and artists who have accompanied the movement, held a press conference.

The positioning of researchers and advisers of the  Front in Defense of Wirikuta holds  the urgency to aim that Wirikuta has to be recognized as a  Biocultural Reserve. You can download the document in PDF POSITIONING OF THE TECHNICAL STUDY  SUPPORTING THE CREATION OF THE WIRIKUTA BIOSPHERE RESERVE  AND THE DRAFT OF THE DECREE.

Likewise the Wixárika Regional Council, presented its position to  the society about the project  of the Biosphere Reserve. http://venadomestizo.blogspot.mx/2012/11/el-consejo-regional-wixarika-presenta.html.

In November, more than 300 artists, intellectuals, environmentalists and Mexican academics join the defense of Wirikuta with a civil statement: http://venadomestizo.blogspot.mx/2012/11/declaracion-ciudadana-apoyo-al-pueblo.html
At the same time joined from the International Film Festival of Morelia, representatives of the film industry in favor of a Bio cultural Reserve http://venadomestizo.blogspot.mx/2012/11/en-el-ficm-se-pronuncian-favor-de-una.html  
Likewise, more than 70 artists joined in the defense supporting the positioning of experts in response to the proposal http://venadomestizo.blogspot.mx/2012/11/la-comunidad-artistica-expresa-su-apoyo.html

In December 2012, before the end of President Felipe Calderon administration, The Decree for the Wirikuta Biosphere Reserve did not proceed as two communal lands holders of the  Township of Catorce interceded an injunction in order to not carry out the decree, leaving for the new administration to review the case. In response, the Front for the Defense of Wirikuta presented its position on the suspension of the decree, emphasizing that "the actions brought against that procedure are based on a series of false arguments promoted by the municipal government of Catorce, along with the mining company First Majestic Silver, through a dishonest disinformation campaign based on deliberate lies without substantial bases and reiterated that the Biosphere Reserve should “fully respect both the cultural rights of the Wixárika people, as the inhabitants of the region to better life standards than the so destructive that offer the mega-industry interests." To see the news, refer to: http://venadomestizo.blogspot.mx/2012/11/posisicon-del-frente-en-defensa-de.html

On January 29, 2013, the Wixárika Regional Council for the Defense of Wirikuta presents a press release in which they call upon the national society to remain attentive to the actions of this new phase. Here you can read the full statement: http://frenteendefensadewirikuta.org/wirikuta/?p=3622

On february 7th, 2013, a year after the  Peritaje Tradicional Wixárika en Wirikuta The Wixárika Regional Council and the Front for the Defense of Wirikuta Tamatsima Wahaa presented at a press conference in Mexico City and delivered several letters to the Federal Government, including the Second Letter to the President of Mexico to the people and governments of the world . You can read about it at: : http://venadomestizo.blogspot.mx/2013/02/wirikuta-es-nuestra-vida.html see it at: http://frenteendefensadewirikuta.org/wirikuta/?p=3659

To date, it´s unknown if the Front for the Defense of Wirikuta Tamatsima Wahaa and the Wixárika Regional Council, have received some response from the federal government instances to his letters and demands.

The Front for the Defense of Wirikuta Tamatsima Wahaa, through its environmental technical table presents results of the research on the impact of mining on groundwater and shares a video on their networks:

Also,  the Regional Council of Wixárika attends to several meetings with Wirikuta communal land holders  in order to establish a combined  working agenda and refute the disinformation campaign about the intentions of the Wixárika people on  wanting to  acquire the  land of the communal land holders  through  the proposal that Wirikuta becomes a Biosphere Reserve. Its  also been asked about the safety of the Wixaritari pilgrims earlier this year that have started with their pilgrimage to Wirikuta to meet their spiritual commitments.

In Wirikuta and other communities like Las Margaritas, Wadley and Refugios de Coronados  have started several productive projects with resources from the Wirikuta Fest. More it will be informed  on these actions as they are finishing  their first stage.

Simultaneously, by the state of San Luis Potosi and some agencies like SEGAM and the Governing Council of the Protected Natural Area of Wirikuta, along with Wirikuta municipal authorities and the Wixárika Union of ceremonial centers, have undertaken some work meetings to achieve points of agreement to work on joint actions for the benefit of the inhabitants of the area and the people of Wixárika. The state of San Luis Potosi issued a bulletin about it:

Today, the Wixárika people continues to receive samples of solidarity of persons, cities, and organizations from Mexico and around the world to protect Wirikuta. It has also been announce  by various Wixárika organizations and authorities that other sacred territories as  Tatei Xapawiyemeta Haramara in Nayarit and in Chapala, Jalisco are being threatened.

The defending of Wirikuta still in search of the respect for the Wixárika indigenous people's rights and that the  national and international agreements signed by the government of Mexico are met. Also the Wixárika people renews its commitment to the people of Wirikuta to obtain decent jobs and a healthy environment in the present and for future generations.

The cause of Wirikuta sums cultural, ecological and spiritual aspects that concerns us all as global citizens.

We shared some photo albums that accompanied this time:

Propousal of the rserve

A closed up of Wirikuta

About Wirikuta Fest

February 25th 2013

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