Thousands of farmers descended on La Boquilla dam in Mexico’s northern state of Chihuahua in early September to voice their anger over a looming transfer of millions of cubic metres of water to the United States. Waiting for them at the site on the Rio Conchos river was several hundred National Guard troops, who quickly abandoned their posts. Farmers turned off the valves, and weeks later, they remain at La Boquilla – demanding the transfer be cancelled.
Mexico’s federal government is mandated under a 1944 treaty to provide water to the United States. The farmers, hard hit by drought, say the transfer would leave them unable to sustain their livelihoods.