The Tarahumara: Challenge in the Sierra

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Drug cartels that threaten border security in the southwest US are active in Tarahumara territory, the Sierra Madre of the Mexican State of Chihuahua. They are alleged to be stealing arable land and trees from Tarahumara homelands. Trees are both cultural icons, said to link earth to the heavens, & environmentally critical to the maintenance of a stable water table in the Sierra.

In a separate but related development, the Mexican equivalent of the Environmental Protection Agency in the state of Chihuahua has rejected a court ruling banning illegal logging on ancestral Tarahumara land.


Photos by Lorne Matalon. Multimedia produced by Sarah Vasquez.

These images were taken during research for our series on two severe challenges facing the Tarahumara indigenous people of northern Mexico.

Between drought and drug traffickers forcing them off their land, the Tarahumara are struggling to grow the subsistence crops they depend on.

The same cartels that threaten border security in the southwest US are active in Tarahumara territory.

Map courtesy of Google Maps

Map courtesy of Google Maps.

Sympathetic Mexican & American neighbors are in the Sierra Madre of Chihuahua, Mexico with the Tarahumara now as the planting season begins. They are supplying the Tarahumara with food and and high quality seeds for next year.

In a separate but related development, the Mexican equivalent of the Environmental Protection Agency in the state of Chihuahua has rejected a court ruling banning illegal logging on ancestral Tarahumara land.

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