However, hunting for bighorn sheep is dividing indigenous groups in the state of Sonora.
Traditional authorities of the Comca’ac Nation -Seri- have been divided by the differences generated by the management of the million-dollar profits derived from the hunting of bighorn sheep on Shark Island, the largest in Mexico, located in Sonora (northwest).
The council of elders chaired by Enrique Robles Barnett dismissed tribal governor Joel Barnett Morales and is demanding that he present the accounts of the money from the sale of headbands to hunt the rocky mountain sheep, with the scientific name Ovis Canadensis.
“What is being diverted is the resource of hunting tourism, the money that comes out of there is what is wrong, that is what we have been requesting, that the Seri government that manages that money hold a meeting and say how much money is coming in, how much money was spent, those resources,” Robles Barnett demanded.
Every year, dozens of hunters from all over the world, but mainly from the United States, come to Sonora to catch the bighorn sheep, which represents one of the greatest trophies of world hunting due to the experience of carrying out this activity on an island. surrounded by the Sea of Cortez, facing the indigenous territory.
Recently, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced the Justice Plan for Indigenous Peoples that contemplates actions and programs for the social and economic development of the Comca’ac Nation but conditioned the advancement of this government action in exchange for stopping hunting the bighorn sheep and photographic safaris are implemented.
In response, the Traditional Seri Government requested that the Justice Plan advance first, and then, when they see the commitments of the Government of Mexico materialized, the Comca’ac Nation will analyze whether to suspend the hunting of bighorn sheep, a species that is not at risk of extinction but has “special protection” in accordance with the official Mexican standards.
Regarding the dismissal of the traditional governor of the Seri tribe, the president of Sonora, Alfonso Durazo, warned that the division between the indigenous authorities could cause interests foreign to the original peoples to slip through.
“We have problems with the Seris and the Mayos, they are legitimate interests that are not adequately processed in political terms, but since I am respectful of their uses and customs, it is an issue that they have to air,” he said.
He affirmed that the division is detrimental to the people because interests outside the community can leak.
Every year, dozens of foreign hunters pay at least between 50 and 60 thousand dollars to enter the territory, which is protected by the traditional Seri guard, and hunt bighorn sheep; however, in Las Vegas, United States, hunting permits for this species are auctioned for up to $200,000.
This activity represents millions in profits that supposedly should benefit these indigenous peoples, however, the fate of these resources is a mystery and has never been reflected in the development of the Comca’ac Nation, where only 700 people live.