Environment | World

Mining project threatens sacred Huichol mountains in Mexico

Members of the Huichol Tribe in Mexico say a $100 million silver mine threatens their way of life.

Tribal members make a 150-mile pilgrimage from their villages in western Mexico to the mountains near Real de Cartorce. They gather peyote from Wirikuta, a mountain that they consider a portal to the world.

Another mountain is considered the birthplace of the sun. Both will be affected by the proposed mine.

"For them the whole mountain is a temple, and the gold and silver below the ground are there for a reason — they contribute to the energy, and it would be best if they just left it alone,” spokesperson Eduardo Guzman told the Associated Press.

A Canadian company, First Majestic Silver, and its Mexican partner, Real Bonanza, say the mine won't harm any sacred sites although permits are being sought to drill shafts inside both sacred mountains. They are also promising to set aside land for the tribe.

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Huichol ‘cosmic portal’ peyote ceremonies threatened by silver mine (AP 2/13)

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