Protest in Defense of Mother Earth & Our Culture (May 19, 2011)



Robert Free Galvan

Franks Landing Indian Community

206 963 3020



Jesus Lara Chivarra of the Wixakari (Huichol) tribe has traveled this month from his native Mexico to share his culture and speak about the issues his people face today.

An artist and healer, he is a native of the San Sebastian Teponahuaxtlán and serves as a member of the coordinating board of the Wirikuta Defense Front.

Legally recognized by the Mexican government as natural heritage site and a UNESCO World Heritage site, the native land of the Wixakari is threatened by foreign business interests. First Majestic Mining, a Canadian company, has laid claims to purchase over 6,000 hectares of Wirikuta land in a plan to extract silver through open pit mining. As descendents of Aztecs, the traditions and livelihood of the Wixakari are dependent on the health of the land.  Mining would destroy the sacred mountain, Wirikuta (Cerro Quemado) considered by Wixakari as the site where a sacred deer first raised the sun into the sky.

The plan would also have grim consequences for the ecosystem that supports the Wixakari. Located in the Chihuahuan desert, the land was named by the World Wildlife Foundation as part of the three most biodiverse deserts in the world. If successful, the mine would endanger over 50 species of cacti, as well as many endangered species of mammals and reptiles.  In addition, contamination and overuse threatens the only underground water source for 16 villages in this remote mountainous region.

Mr. Chivarra is also available for interviews (English interpreter provided) through May 11th.

May 19 Solidarity action at Mexican Consulate and Canadian consulate 4th and Blanchard, Seattle time 12 – 2 pm.