Mexico's government says it will protect thousands of acres of land considered sacred by the Huichol Indian tribe, which inspired a protest movement against a Canadian company's silver-mining concessions in the northern desert area called Wikiruta.

The land became a focal point for environmentalists and indigenous activists after First Majestic announced plans to drill there. The natives' cause received backing from a wide variety of Mexican artists, intellectuals and civic groups objecting to the mining.

Despite being hailed as a victory by the government, Huichol leaders have severely criticised the measures as a "media ploy", saying their holy land is still under threat. 

Rachel Levin reports from Mexico City. 

Source: Al Jazeera