Mexican showdown: Peyote vs silver

The Washington Post reports a "stark collision of cultures" is taking place in the desert mountains of Mexico, where the Huichol Indians are trying to stop a Canadian company from starting a $100-million silver mine.

The Huichol uphold the mountains as a "cosmic portal" where the sun was born and shamans collect peyote to be used in ritual sacraments:

“For them the whole mountain is a temple, and the gold and silver below the ground are there for a reason — they contribute to the energy, and it would be best if they just left it alone,” said Eduardo Guzman, an activist and spokesman for the Huichol living in a hard-scrabble pueblo called Las Margaritas at the foot of the magic mountain.

The area in question is also referred to as the La Luz Silver Project, acquired by First Majestic Minerals in 2009. First Majestic (TSE:FR) describes Real de Catorce as "an old mining district" that produced 230 milllion ounces of silver, mostly during the 1770s. The property consists of 22 mining concessions covering 6,327 hectares.