Members of Jalisco’s Huichol indigenous community say they are prepared to camp outside federal offices in Guadalajara for as long as it takes to get 10,000 hectares of land returned to their rightful possession.
Around 400 Huicholes marched in Guadalajara Wednesday to protest government dithering over a land dispute they say was partially resolved in the courts more than three years ago.
The Huichols say the Agrarian Development Ministry (Sedatu) has failed to follow through on rulings handed down by Mexico’s Agrarian Tribunal regarding land “grabbed by mestizo farmers” in San Sebastián Teponahuaxtlán, Jalisco. The Huichols say the 10,000 hectares in question is ancestral land and a symbol of their identity.
The dispute has been building up over many decades and has provoked periodic violence and even a few killings.
For years, the Huichols pleaded their right to the land with the Secretaría de la Reforma Agraria (SRA), the federal agency responsible for agrarian affairs. Their case was based on a presidential decree from July 15, 1953 that ceded their rights to the disputed hectares. An even earlier land title dates back to 1713, when Mexico was a Spanish colony and known as the Viceroyalty of New Spain.