Mexico Chihuahua farmers clashed against anti riots squads during violent demonstrations against government plans to provide water to the U.S. amidst a harsh national drought.
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Mexico has to supply water to the U.S. under the terms of an agreement signed in 1944. The treaty disposes of that both countries must distribute the volume of Río Bravo, borderline body water. The Central American nation plans to use the supplies in La Boquilla dam to fulfill its part of the pact.
“In all the history of Chihuahua, the army has never been sent to take the dams. Instead of fighting organized crime and narcotics traffickers, they’re fighting our farmers,” said Mario Mata Carrasco, a federal lawmaker from Chihuahua.
The violent protests follow the death of a farmer woman in early September. The demonstrators claim that the government prioritizes the U.S. rather than national needs, as agricultural workers face water scarcity and crops lost.
While the government is determined to pay the water debt, Chihuahua farmers say it could be fulfilled in the future and insist Mexican dam waters are not into the agreement terms. Mexico has to transfer over 100bn gallons by October 24.
“When the government comes to steal our property, we don’t have any other option but to defend it. The international water treaty establishes alternatives for resolving these problems,” said farmer’s spokesperson Raymundo Soto.
Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has said that his detractors are behind the farmers’ protests to distort public opinion against his party ahead of 2021 elections.