Skip to main content

Campaign Update: Mexico's Wixárika People Take Protests to Vancouver and New York City

Delegates from the Wixárika traditional authorities were in New York and Vancouver the third week of May, defending their right to protect their sacred lands from exploitation by a Canadian mining company.

Felipe Serio Chino and Santos de la Cruz with Huichol  rights activist Armando Loizaga in the General Assembly Hall of the United Nations in New York.

In New York, the Wixárika delegates spoke out at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, where more than 1,000 Indigenous people from all parts of the world were gathered to assess progress in implementing the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Wixárika representative Santos de la Cruz addressed the Forum on May 20, calling on Mexico to uphold the protected status of the Wirikuta Natural and Cultural Reserve, an area that is sacred to the Wixárika people. In violation of the Wirikuta Reserve’s management plan, the Mexican government granted mining concessions there to the Canadian mining company First Majestic Silver.  

Felipe Serio Chino and Santos de la Cruz meet with James Anaya, UN Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples

“We follow the footsteps of our ancestors to Wirikuta every year to pray in our most sacred places,” said Felipe Serio Chino in a meeting with James Anaya, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. “Mining would destroy what is sacred to us: the energy of Wirikuta that is our life,” he continued. The Wixárika delegates urged Professor Anaya to visit the site near Real de Catorce in San Luis Potosi state and to investigate violations of their rights under the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and other international accords.



See Video of Santos de la Cruz’ statement to the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues  (in Spanish).

See an article about the Wixárika protests in Vancouver.

See the Global Response Action Alert and write a letter to Mexico’s president.