Photo: Community leader Teresa González Parra and CONTEC director Diana Villalobos Díaz. This webinar on April 24 will highlight their work.

In August 2021, the Peace Brigades International-Mexico Project accompanied Community Technical Consulting (CONTEC) at a blockade on the Creel-San Rafael highway conducted by the Indigenous Rarámuri forest community of San Elias Repechique to further their demand for legal recognition of their ancestral territory.

Photo: PBI-Mexico with Rarámuri forest community leader Teresa González Parra at the highway blockade.

The Rarámuri community also took part in another protest in the city of Cuauhtémoc, Chihuahua on October 4, 2021, to defend their territory.

At that time, CONTEC said: “We demand an end to the criminalization that the Rarámuri indigenous communities are suffering, accused of theft for defending the looting of wood from their territory.”

CONTEC provides legal accompaniment to the community that resisted the Barrancas del Cobre-Creel Regional Airport being built in their ancestral forest.

Photo: Creel airport.

CONTEC has also accompanied the community in their struggle against the $1.1 billion TC Energy Encino-Topolobampo gas pipeline (which was eventually diverted away from their territory) and the San Juanito gas pipeline and aqueduct.

Their territorial defense has also included a sewing workshop.

The Bowe Najativo community sewing workshop is located on one hectare of ancestral land in an area known as Cerro de la Virgen on Rarámuri land claimed by businessman Fernando Cuesta as his Pino Gordo property.

After Cuesta filed a lawsuit against the community for dispossession, environmental damage, and theft, the state police stopped the construction of the sewing workshop and tried to arrest Teresa González Parra.

On August 13, 2020, the day the police came, about 50 people from the community, accompanied by two CONTEC lawyers, including Diana Villalobos Diaz, walked more than two hours to the city of Creel where the Public Ministry office is located.

When they arrived in Creel, the Public Ministry told them they would have to go to Cuauthémoc, a municipality located three hours from Creel.

The community walked back home in the dark.

Photo: Teresa and Diana.

Webinar, April 24

To learn more about the Rarámuri struggle for their ancestral territory, please join us at a webinar on Sunday, April 24 at 2:30 pm EDT.

You can sign up for that webinar here.

On March 24, 2022, PBI-Mexico signed an accompaniment agreement with CONTEC director Diana Villalobos Díaz in recognition of the danger her organization faces, notably for its work in defense of Indigenous rights.