Wirikuta silver and gold mining, Mexico

Silver and gold mining in sacred land belonging to the Wixárica people. Strong, peaceful successful resistance against foreign companies and local government.


<div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Description</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld"></td><td class="columns">In 2011, the federal Government granted Revolution Resources Corp minning concessions to lauch a new "Universe Project" in an area that overlapps by more than 42% with the Wirikuta Natural Reserve (59,678 hectares). This added to another project, the La Luz project, which was approved in 2010 in benefit of First Majestic Silver Corp. This project involved 22 concessions and affected 6,327 hectares, 70% of which also fell within the Reserve. The Reserve also hosts the Wirikuta/Wixárica community and a number of sacred sites and resources used by this community. The project, which contemplates open extraction techniques, will  threaten the community traditional activities as well as water quantity and quality in the area. Additionally, the area will also be impacted by industrial agriculture firms that have started massive tomato cultivation, with impact on underground water reserves and the autoctonous vegetation. There has been strong resistance by the local indigenous community (Huichol / Wixárika) and much support at national level inclusing mass concerts in the capital of Mexico. </td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Basic Data</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Name</td><td>Wirikuta silver and gold mining, Mexico</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Country</td><td><a href="/country/mexico">Mexico</a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Province</td><td>San Luis Potosi</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Site</td><td>San Luis Potosí, México, municipios de Catorce, Charcas, Matehuala, Villa de Guadalupe, Villa de la Paz, Villa de Ramos, Bajío</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Accuracy of Location</td><td>HIGH local level</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Source of Conflict</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (1st level)</td><td>Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (2nd level)</td><td>Water access rights and entitlements<br /> Mineral ore exploration</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Specific Commodities</td><td><a href='/commodity/silver'>Silver</a><br /><a href='/commodity/gold'>Gold</a></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Project Details and Actors</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Details</td><td class="columns"><div class="less">First Majestic Silver obtained 22 mine concessions, including 6,327 hectares in the Wirikuta area.</div><a class="seemore" href="#">See more...</a><div class="more" style="display:none">Revolution Corp obtained 72 mine concessions, encompassing more than 67,000 hectares.<br/><br/><a class="seeless" href="#">(See less)</a></div></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Project Area (in hectares)</td><td>59,678</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Level of Investment (in USD)</td><td>100,000,000 USD (La Luz project; First Majestic Silver))</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Population</td><td>Rural</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Potential Affected Population</td><td>20,000 Wixárika</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Start Date</td><td>01/01/2010</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">End Date</td><td>09/2013</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Company Names or State Enterprises</td><td><a href='/company/first-majestic-silver-corp'>First Majestic Silver Corp. <small>(FM)</small></a> from <a href='/country-of-company/canada'><small>Canada</small></a><br /><a href='/company/revolution-resources-corp-imd-mining'>Revolution resources Corp./IMD Mining <small>(RR)</small></a> from <a href='/country-of-company/canada'><small>Canada</small></a> - <small>Project concession beneficiary</small></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Relevant government actors</td><td>Governors of San Luis Potosí, Durango, Jalisco, Nayarit and Zacatecas.<br/><br/>Felipe Calderon (Mexican President from 2006 to 2012)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Environmental justice organisations and other supporters</td><td>Unión Wixárica de Centros Ceremoniales (http://ongs.com.mx/job/union-wixarika-de-centros-ceremoniales-de-jalisco-durango-y-nayarit/)<br/><br/>Frente en Defensa de Wirikuta Tamatsima Wahaa<br/><br/>Consejo Regional Wixárika por la Defensa de Wirikuta<br/><br/>Asociación Jalisciense de Apoyo a Grupos<br/><br/>Indígenas<br/><br/>Amnesty International<br/><br/>High Commissioner for Human Rights<br/><br/>Business & Human Rights<br/><br/>UNESCO</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">The Conflict and the Mobilization</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)</td><td>HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">When did the mobilization begin</td><td>PREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Groups Mobilizing</td><td>Indigenous groups or traditional communities<br /> International ejos<br /> Local ejos<br /> Neighbours/citizens/communities<br /> Social movements<br /> Ethnically/racially discriminated groups<br /> Recreational users<br /> Local scientists/professionals</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Forms of Mobilization</td><td>Artistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)<br /> Creation of alternative reports/knowledge<br /> Involvement of national and international NGOs<br /> Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism<br /> Media based activism/alternative media<br /> Official complaint letters and petitions<br /> Street protest/marches<br /> Defense of sacredness of the territory</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Impacts</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Environmental Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Groundwater pollution or depletion<br /><strong>Potential: </strong>Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Mine tailing spills</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Health Impacts</td><td><strong>Potential: </strong>Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Socio-economic Impacts</td><td><strong>Potential: </strong>Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of landscape/sense of place</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Outcome</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Status</td><td>Stopped</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Pathways for conflict outcome / response</td><td>Court decision (failure for environmental justice)<br /> Project temporarily suspended</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Do you consider this as a success?</td><td>Yes</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Why? Explain briefly.</td><td>In September 2013, Federal court suspended 40 mine exploitation concessions including those of Universo project. This decision stopped all preparatory mining works in the Wirikuta area (municipalities of Catorce, Charcas, Matehuala, Villa de Ramos, Villa de Guadalupe and Villa de la Paz)., until the concessions are definitively cancelled. </td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Sources and Materials</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Legislations</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Convention 169 of ILO<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> San Luis Potosí state, 29 June 2010, LEY DE CONSULTA INDÍGENA. Según esta ley serán objeto obligado de consulta: EL OTORGAMIENTO DE CONCESIONES, CONTRATOS Y DEMAS INSTRUMENTOS JURIDICOS QUE AFECTEN EL USO Y DISFRUTE DE SUS TIERRAS Y RECURSOS NATURALES.<br/></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">References</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Tesis doctoral, “Minería, conservación y derechos indígenas. Territorio y conflicto en Catorce, San Luis Potosí”, Andrew Félix Boni Noguez, del CIGA de la UNAM, reconocido por la Academia Mexicana de Ciencias (AMC) por la mejor tesis de doctorado en Ciencias Sociales 2015. Trabajo dirigido por Claudio Garibay.<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.dgcs.unam.mx/boletin/bdboletin/2016_583.html" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Miriam Alï-e Cohen, Conflictos socio-ambientales: la minería en Wirikuta y Cananea<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.redalyc.org/html/325/32538023011/" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Links</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Wirikuta: la historia no contada de un conflicto minero<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.elfinanciero.com.mx/archivo/wirikuta-la-historia-no-contada-de-un-conflicto-minero.html" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> 10 claves para entender el conflicto en Wirikuta<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.sinembargo.mx/29-10-2011/64805" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Wirikuta se defiende, Hermann Bellinghausen (La Jornada 27 junio 2016)<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2016/06/27/opinion/a08a1cul" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Hermann Bellinghausen, "Wirikuta no se vende, se ama y se defiende"<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2012/02/08/sociedad/042n1soc" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> En defensa de Wirikuta, 60 mil cantaron en el Foro Sol, 27/5/2012<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2012/05/27/sociedad/034n1soc" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Media Links</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Salvemos Wirikuta blog<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.frenteendefensadewirikuta.org/?lang=en" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Other Documents</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Desde Jalisco, Nayarit, San Luis Potosí, Durango y Zacatecas llegaron a El Quemado, en Real de Catorce, donde dieron a conocer la Declaración de Wirikuta. Foto Arturo Campos Cedillo (La Jornada 8/2/2012).<br/><a class="refanch small" href="https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/Wirikuta2012.jpg" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Meta Information</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Contributor</td><td>Sergio Villamayor-Tomas</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Last update</td><td>13/12/2016</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div>
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