Territories, Mega-Mining and the Defence of Indigenous Cultural and Natural Heritage: Case Studies from Mexico
This paper addresses the relationship between the defence of Indigenous territories against mining processes and the defence of their cultures and both daily and ritual manifestations. This is a mutually strengthening relationship that is based on the cultural significance of territory and the territorial roots of cultural practices. I describe two cases of the different uses of the demand for cultural recognition as a means for territorial defence in Mexico. The Wixárika people have claimed the sacred territory of Wirikuta as ICH, appealing to national and international institutions for its protection. The peoples of the Montaña Region of Guerrero appealed at Land Law and for the right to free, prior and informed consultation, while rejecting institutional projects of territorial protection.