Bustillos paid a high price for his commitment to the Sierra. He survived three attempts on his life and sustained severe back and head injuries incurred in the attacks.
Despite the odds, Bustillos and CASMAC helped stop two illegal logging operations and worked to protect the land rights of over 300 Tarahumara families. Although a very small organization, CASMAC and Bustillos were also instrumental in developing a landmark constitutional proposal for indigenous rights in the state of Chihuahua, which nearly became law before being defeated by a newly elected congress in 1996.
CASMAC proceeded to change strategies for defense of indigenous rights by embarking in ecologically friendly and culturally appropriate economic alternatives to drug production and logging. CASMAC, with its U.S. partner, the Sierra Madre Alliance, developed a permaculture training program and a native craft program. Organic paper production and a project to develop non-timber forest products such as medicinal plants began in the fall of 1998. CASMAC further enabled native communities with a leadership training program, a radio communications network and a program for training and certifying indigenous forest inspectors. CASMAC continues to research community problems and take legal action on behalf of communal native forests and lands.
Bustillos died in 2003 after a long illness.