1st Intercultural Forum on Entheogenic Medicine
"Sacred plants are not drugs: A review of the classification of enthenogens of natural origin"
January 24-25, 2023 || 10am - 6pm
Sala de la Comisión Permanente, en el Sótano 1 del Hemiciclo del Senado de la República, Mexico
Now is a delicate moment for the legality of ayahuasca in Mexico. Over the past year, there has been an increased incarceration rate of curanderos who are being detained for “trafficking” ayahuasca as a narcotic drug in Mexico
January 23 - 27, 2023, will be a crucial week for the future of ayahuasca. It marks the first criminal hearing of the arrested persons in Mexico. Currently, four of the eight people detained for carrying this medicine are indigenous. This ruling is extremely important for the ayahuasca community, and will be essential for setting a precedent for the future and remaining detainees. On January 24th and 25th, the first "Intercultural Entheogenic Medicine Forum" will be held in the Senate of the Republic of Mexico to offer dialogue, and insight surrounding this topic. This forum is led by various indigenous leaders, healthcare professionals, experts in public policy and Human Rights, as well as respected members of the scientific community. These individuals will share their perspective of this cultural healing practice and substance. Our non-profit organization, Weaving Worlds, will be on the ground at the Mexican Senate, covering this developing story. We will be conducting daily updates and interviews with important figures at this forum, and hearing of the first detainee. Through our digital platforms, we will host conversations with the global community surrounding this topic. We seek to bring international visibility to this issue and provide a space to discuss different perspectives of this multilayer topic of entheogenic medicine and ayahuasca. One aspect of our organization is to “weave” multidisciplinary, and cross cultural relationships who are aligned with environmental regeneration and ancestral wisdom. Please contact us if you would like to participate in creating more visibility on this topic and monumental event.
WHAT IS THIS ABOUT ?
Increased Incarceration of Ayahuasqueros in Mexico
Not much and nothing has changed in Mexico since the Edicto de Fe de la Santa Inquisición of 1620 which explicitly prohibited the traditional and religious medical use of peyote and fungi. On March 8, 2022, the first indigenous person belonging to the Murui-Huitoto community was arrested at the AICM, Colombia for importing ayahuasca into Mexico. The next day, Navy officers arrested another indigenous person from the Shipibo-Konibo tribe of the Peruvian Amazon. Finally, another person belonging to the Katukina tribe in Brazil was arrested in June. Later, in September, another indigenous person belonging to the Quechua-Ashaninka community was detained for the same reason. Since then, there has been a wave of arrests for the transport of ancestral medicines accused of the crime of introducing narcotic drugs into the country, which warrants a custodial sentence ranging from 8 to 25 years in prison.
So far, there are eight people (four of them indigenous) arrested for the alleged introduction of narcotics into the country and, due to the war against drugs and the informal preventive detention that governs the matter, all these people remain in prison. It is important to mention that ayahuasca is not a controlled substance under the General Health Law, nor under the International Treaties on drug control. Even in Peru, it is considered Cultural Patrimony of the Nation; in Colombia it is protected by the Constitution itself for indigenous peoples, and in Brazil its use for religious purposes is permitted and protected. The foregoing has implied a serious violation of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Freedom of Conscience and other Human Rights. Given this scenario, the situation in Mexico regarding the legality of ayahuasca in Mexico is at an extremely delicate moment. Between January 23 and 27, it will be a crucial week for the future of ayahuasca in Mexico, since the first criminal trial of the arrested persons will take place and it will be essential for the development of the following ones.
On the other hand, an interdisciplinary team dedicated to the legal defense of ancestral plants in Mexico has taken important steps for legal defense, formulating a long-term strategy that will be essential to clarify the legal status of ayahuasca and other ancestral plants in the country. For example, the drafting of a Law Initiative for the regulation of mushrooms that contain psilocybin as well as the creation of the list of "Entheogens of Natural Origin" in article 245 of the General Health Law to achieve reclassification of these substances. in a classification that responds, effectively, to the medical and therapeutic
potential and that allows its biopreservation. In this way, thanks to the
efforts of various actors in our community, we have managed to organize the following
events that will take place the same week as the first trial regarding ayahuasca.
1. The first "Intercultural Entheogenic Medicine Forum" to be held in the Senate of the Republic on January 24 and 25, led by various indigenous leaders, health professionals, experts in public policy and Human Rights, as well as respected members of the scientific community.
2. Concert for Freedom of Conscience in the Huerto Roma to be held on January 24: the
foregoing aims to initiate a dialogue with the community, facilitators, members of various
indigenous communities towards the unification of voices to face the criminal threats that
have been received for the use of ayahuasca in Mexico.
For all of the above, the Organizing Committee of these events has been prevented from continuing with the planning and implementation of these important steps given the budgetary limitations to be able to invite various indigenous leaders. Indigenous voices must be heard in the Plenary of the Senate of the Republic, hand in hand with experts in
the field, to educate the authorities in our
country of Mexico.
Your support will greatly contribute to defending ayahuasca in Mexico, and to begin a process of regulation, education, and the necessary advocacy for entheogenic medicine.