Drought, Famine Strike Tarahumara

Famed indigenous runners in need of aid

Tarahumara woman     Photo: eflon/flickr

The Mexican Red Cross is sending emergency food aid to the indigenous Tarahumara people in northern Mexico after reports of crippling drought, widespread famine, and rumored suicide. Over the weekend, a local official posted a video on YouTube claiming that 50 Tarahumara had commited suicide after their crops failed. The Tarahumara are known for their their long-distance running ability and were featured in barefoot runner Christopher McDougall's book Born to Run. The regional Chihuahua government denied the reported suicides but acknowledged a serious food shortage as a result of severe drought and freezing temperatures. The Reverend Guadalupe Gasca, a Jesuit priest working in the area, said that recent heavy logging in the once-forested mountains might play a role in the drought. "There has always been hunger in these hills: There have always been climate cycles, but these cycles are getting more frequent and more severe," he said.

Read more at the BBC

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