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Dam Construction Has Forced 200,000 People from Their Homes in Mexico

Television del Sur
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March 23, 2016

Mexico celebrated World Water Day 2016 with half of its territory suffering some level of drought. (teleSUR)

Some 200,000 people have been displaced by the construction of dams across Mexico, while advocacy groups warn the country’s new water law will only continue to make the situation worse, Mexico’s Sin Embargo reported.

According to researchers, many of Mexico’s 4,462 dams registered in official records are in Indigenous and campesino communities, which are not only located near main water sources but also vulnerable to exploitation. Over 660 of the dams are considered large.

Statistics on the number of people displaced by dams in Mexico have been difficult to find, according to researchers, but various investigations have now revealed that the number is likely to be around 200,000.

Some of the largest mass displacements took place in the early 1980s, with tens of thousands of people pushed off their land in large dams projects. Thousands more have been forcibly displaced by new construction since.

Even when families are not forced from their homes, hydroelectric projects can impact the social fabric of a community, as well as compromise food production and local public health.

Resistance against dam projects also takes a heavy toll. Since 2005, over 40 activists fighting to defend rivers have been killed in Mexico, Central America, and Colombia, according to GeoComunes. At least eight have been killed in Mexico.

Read the rest at teleSUR

Related: Peruvians Take to the Streets Against Water Privatization (teleSUR)

Photo: Reuters

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