PBI-Mexico accompanied FPDTA-MPT mobilizing on World Water Day in defence of the Cuautla and Metlapanapa rivers
The Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra y el Agua de Morelos, Puebla y Tlaxcala (Peoples’ Front in Defense of the Land and Earth of Morelos, Puebla and Tlaxcala) has posted on Facebook about protests on March 22, World Water Day.
They say: “WE CALL on everyone to demonstrate in the different ways, ways and safely on WORLD WATER DAY.”
The protests include in front of the National Water Commission (CONAGUA) in Cuernavaca, Morelos (starting at 10 am) and at the blockade by the Metlapanapa River, Santa María Zacatepec, Puebla (also at 10 am).
Latino Rebels recently reported that the newly constructed thermoelectric plant in Huexca, Morelos could soon begin operations. An aqueduct would draw 50 million litres of water a day from the Cuautla River to cool the turbines of that plant.
The Cuautla River sustains 32 ejidos (communal agricultural lands) and residents are concerned that the thermoelectric plant/aqueduct will deplete their already increasingly scarce water supplies and return to the river contaminated water.
They are also concerned that the Environmental Impact States for the thermoelectric plant did not account for the full impacts of the aqueduct on the Cuautla River or the rights of the Cuautla River Users Association.
This past November, the National Guard evicted the Apatlaco blockade in defence of the Cuautla River that had been blocking construction of the aqueduct.
The FPDTA-MPT has argued that aqueduct is illegal because the National Water Commission (CONAGUA) has not granted the necessary permits for the construction of the aqueduct and the diversion of water from the river.
Front Line Defenders has also noted that there has been an ongoing struggle in Santa María Zacatepec against the implementation of a sewage and storm drainage system that would mean the discharge of toxic waste into the Metlapanapa River.
The community of Zacatepec is part of the FPDTA-MPT.
The United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution in 1992 that recognizes March 22 of each year as World Water Day.
PBI-Mexico has accompanied the FPDTA-MPT since 2020.