Huichol leaders assassinations “a wound to the heart of the community”

Miguel Vázquez Torres, left, goes over a map of the territory to be restituted on Sept. 22, 2016, with Wixárika attorney Santos de la Cruz Carrillo. Photo: Abraham Pérez.

GUADALAJARA — As commissioner of public lands for the indigenous Wixárika territory of San Sebastian Teponahuaxtlán, Miguel Vázquez Torres was at the forefront of the legal fight to recover 10,000 hectares of indigenous ancestral lands from surrounding ranching communities. He was among those who repeatedly urged the federal and state governments to intervene to prevent violence in the increasingly tense region that had been the subject of land conflicts for more than a century and, more recently, an increasing presence on the part of the drug cartels.
So it was particularly painful to learn that Miguel and his brother, Agustín, a young attorney also active in the land restitution project have become victims of the violence that they had worked so hard to avoid. They were both gunned down on Saturday. Preliminary investigations implicate an organized crime cell operating on the border between Jalisco and Zacatecas states. Follow link to read more...

Tracy Barnett
Miguel Vázquez Torres
land conflicts
land restitution