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World Mexico to settle water debt with US amid protests

01:55  23 october  2020
01:55  23 october  2020 Source:   bbc.com

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Mexico has reached a deal to settle its water debts with the US despite widespread protests by Mexican farmers, some of which turned violent. A bilateral treaty signed in 1944 says the two countries must share water sources along their arid border. Mexican farmers say they need the water

If Mexico had its way, that water would end up in the Rio Grande and, eventually, in the hands of The federal officials’ visit is a breakthrough amid a tense war between the farmers and Chihuahua Camargo Mayor Zubia said it’s important to settle the real amount of water at the dam because “ we

Mexico has reached a deal to settle its water debts with the US despite widespread protests by Mexican farmers, some of which turned violent.

a group of people riding on the back of a truck: Hundreds of farmers seized a dam in Chihuahua state last month © Reuters Hundreds of farmers seized a dam in Chihuahua state last month

A bilateral treaty signed in 1944 says the two countries must share water sources along their arid border.

Mexican farmers say they need the water themselves, in what has been one of the driest years in decades.

But the US says Mexico has recently not been fulfilling the agreement and owed almost a year's worth of water.

Last month, hundreds of Mexican farmers seized La Boquilla dam in Chihuahua state to stop water being diverted to the US, leading to violent clashes with Mexico's National Guard.

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As Mexico struggles to pay a water debt to the United States , President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Thursday he might personally appeal to President Donald Trump for clemency, or invite United Nations experts to audit water payments.

Mexico receives more water than it gives to the U . S . under the treaty, which governs the flow of border and cross-border rivers including the Colorado to the west. The issue has resulted in clashes before. In March, protesters burned pickup trucks, blocked roads and demonstrated at the La Boquilla dam

A woman was shot dead in the unrest, in what the National Guard called "a regrettable accident".

a person holding a baseball bat on a field: Mexican farmers say they need the water themselves © Reuters Mexican farmers say they need the water themselves

Farmers in the US have been putting pressure on the Trump administration to make Mexico meet its obligations.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Mexico would now make up its shortfall.

"If we need water for human consumption they will provide it and if we have a severe drought they will help us," he told reporters.

"I want to take the opportunity to thank the United States government for its understanding and solidarity."

Mexican farmers have been growing crops that use greater volumes of water from the Conchos river, which flows north into the US. It has taken 71% of the water despite only being allowed to use 62% under the treaty and letting the rest flow into the Rio Bravo, which is also known as the Rio Grande, AP reported last month.

Mexico has in the past delayed water payments in the hope that rainfall from Gulf of Mexico storms would make up the shortfall, AP said. However rain from Hurricane Hanna, which made landfall in July, did not move far enough inland to fill up dams in Chihuahua.

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This is interesting!