Drought, Famine Strike Tarahumara
Famed indigenous runners in need of aid
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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