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Mexico promises to protect Huichol Indian lands

MEXICO CITY (AP) – Mexico’s government says it will protect a half-million acres held sacred by the Huichol Indian tribe that inspired a protest movement against a Canadian company’s silver-mining concessions in the northern desert.

First Majestic Silver Corp. is giving up concessions in the area, and the government says it will not authorize new mining permits there.

Huichol Indians received backing from a wide variety of Mexican artists, intellectuals and civic groups objecting to mining in the area known as Wirikuta. A protest concert was scheduled for Saturday in Mexico City.

The area involved is home to the Cerro Quemado, a mountain where the Huichol believe the sun was born. The Huichol still conduct ceremonies and make an annual pilgrimage to the Wirikuta reserve near the town of Real de Catorce.

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