The 30 towns that make up the Supreme Indigenous Council of Michoacán began community patrols and organized groups of self-defense forces to both protect the forests and avocado groves from pillaging and to reject the collection of fees.
The director of the Pamatácuaro holding confirmed that in the past few months the pillaging of forests has worsened. As those responsible for this clandestine logging are released hours after their detention, the community patrols and self-defense groups will continue with their activities on a permanent basis.
The destruction of the forests has been detrimental to the indigenous communities of the state. “They are destroying all the animals and plants and there is no longer very much for us to gather in order to live,” reports Noé Vallardes, a resident of the drought-stricken community of San Antonio.
In the community of Nuevo Zirosto, residents have been impacted by the dispossession of their avocado crops and the payment of fees in the municipality of Uruapan.
“Not only in Uruapan, but also in Tancítaro, they are organizing, as the dispossession and the collection of fees from the owners of the avocado orchards has increased,” said producer Raúl Miranda, from the Uruapan region.
The majority of the towns that make up the Council are Purépecha, and more and more communities are coming together to protect their forests and groves.