MEXICO CITY (HPD) — In an attempt to vindicate the indigenous Yaqui people, who have suffered abuses for centuries and more recently a wave of murders, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador signed a decree Saturday to restore some 30,000 hectares to them.
During a visit to the northern municipality of Guaymas, in the state of Sonora, López Obrador met with members of the indigenous group to sign the decree for the return of the lands that were dispossessed several decades ago, an act that he considered a “historic act.” .
Before dozens of Yaquis, the ruler promised to “do justice” and spare the community.”
“It is a tribute to all those who lost their lives, those who fought in the Mexican Revolution for justice, freedom, democracy and national sovereignty,” he said.
In September of last year, the López Obrador administration offered a public apology to the Yaquis — Mexico’s most persecuted indigenous group — who were the target of a government campaign to exterminate or expel them at the end of the 19th century.
On that occasion, the government promised to return land to them, enforce agreements to reserve half of the water in the Yaqui River for indigenous use, and build an aqueduct to bring drinking water to the Yaqui communities in northern Sonora.
The measures were part of the so-called Justice Plan for the Yaqui People aimed at reversing various grievances, such as the fact that most of the water from the river that bears the name of the Yaquis is diverted to supply the urban areas of Sonora.