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Mexico City residents battle police over water

By Mark Stevenson

MEXICO CITY (AP) - A confrontation between 1,500 police and residents of a village on Mexico City's western outskirts left more than 100 police injured in a battle over a water spring. Three police remained in intensive care Thursday, the city government said, and five people were under arrest.

It was the latest in a series of clashes over increasingly scarce water in the city of 9 million people, which must draw much of its supply from surrounding states.

The city grew so fast between the 1940s and the 1990s that once-independent villages like San Bartolo Ameyalco were swallowed up by the sprawl.

The centuries-old village has a natural water spring which it takes a great deal of pride in.

But Mexico City officials wanted to extend the municipal water system into the village, purportedly to supply underserved areas there.

But many residents suspect the city wants take their spring water to supply the explosive growth of apartment blocks, offices and shopping centers that have sprouted in the upscale developments nearby.

Residents had managed to block the city's plan for a long time.

"This community has been deeply linked to water ever since it began," community activists wrote in a description of their town, whose name, Ameyalco, means "place where water springs forth" in the Nahuatl Indian language.

When police moved in to protect city workers opening trenches Wednesday, they were blocked by barricades and rock-throwing residents.

"This water project has been delayed for more than 18 years," the city's police department said in a statement, suggesting that people who make money selling truckloads of water to inhabitants are behind the opposition.

"We think that the tank truck operators are involved. Tankers from this area don't want this project to go forward," borough president Leonel Luna told a news conference Thursday.

City officials say they are trying to bring water into the area for 20,000 people who don't have service, not take it out. They said pipes for the project had been successfully laid by early Thursday and that city workers were being withdrawn.

But officials' promises are suspect because of the uncontrolled growth they've allowed in the hills nearby.

Developers were allowed to create a huge satellite city known as Santa Fe in the hills, despite the fact that adequate road, mass transit and water lines did not exist.

Many Mexico City residents have to rely on tank truck deliveries to get water, and every few months water supplies run out for entire neighborhoods; residents often block roadways to pressure authorities into solving the problems.

In 2004, Mazahua Indians whose ancestral lands lie west of Mexico City blockaded a water treatment plant, a move that temporarily threatened to interrupt city water supplies. The Mazahuas were angry that much of the city's water is extracted from their lands, but they see little benefit from it.

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masc1906 May 22 2014 at 10:06 PM

A city with 9 million people needs to pass out condoms and dry up the population!

Flag Reply +68 rate up
19 replies
Richard May 22 2014 at 7:52 PM

They will be creating the same water problem here in the U.S. if we don't close the border.

Flag Reply +66 rate up
24 replies
slock84455 May 22 2014 at 8:54 PM

It is all coming soon to an American city near you. SOON!

Flag Reply +52 rate up
8 replies
jdromechanic May 22 2014 at 7:12 PM

great now they have another excuse to sneak in cross the border

Flag Reply +41 rate up
3 replies
vigoddess May 22 2014 at 8:49 PM

Take a good look at Mexico City because that will be USA in ten years with a water shortage.
The USA is great on technical trends, but poor on maintenance. So, if we allow the Keystone
oil pipes to be placed through several states, or even one or two states, a hole can cause seepage
into the water table. You cannot clean up oil in the earth. It's not like water and even then the
chemicals pollute the water, so you will pay more for a quart of water than gas. Most of the 1%
who are into money won't be alive then so they couldn't care less - but you have to get involved
in this protection of the planet.

Flag Reply +34 rate up
18 replies
N68Firebird May 22 2014 at 9:44 PM

One of the biggest problems that Mexico has had, along with other nations and various cultures within those nations, is being irresponsible with regards to the number of children that the people conceive. If there's not enough water for 3 million people, there certainly won't be enough for 9 million people.

Flag Reply +30 rate up
12 replies
am0714 May 22 2014 at 7:46 PM

WELL you got me again with the sneaky headline. You don't say Mexico in the headline BECAUSE ? Do you get paid more for each click ? Is that why you mislead your readers ?
It's a good way to be left with just the old smut rag readers. Another waste of time.

Flag Reply +23 rate up
8 replies
jimr247 May 22 2014 at 7:47 PM

The answer is for the goverment tobuild " desalination plants ".....the world is 3/4water, and if they can do it for Saudi and other countries over there....they can build them here also...... just a thought but it is true for the USA also......all that water and not a drop to drink...... our troups did it for others why not for us???????????????????

Flag Reply +21 rate up
10 replies
talkwjon May 22 2014 at 8:22 PM

Ignore global warming enough and you can just ignore this problem too...

Flag Reply +11 rate up
2 replies
hjtompary8 talkwjon May 22 2014 at 9:48 PM

There is NO GLOBAL WARMING, even the government has said that, the reason they changed to Climate Change from Global warming is that the LAST 17 years the earth has cooled or had nochange in temperature. THAT SAME TIME CO2 went up from 300ppm to over 400ppm in the last ten years. THATS RIGHT READ IT AGAIN, CO2, has gone up 25% the last ten years and the GLOBAL TEMPS WNET DOWN. ALL OTHER climate models were WRONG!

Flag Reply +18 rate up
21 replies
Hello beautiful talkwjon May 23 2014 at 12:06 AM

Cow farts.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
2 replies
stwild Hello beautiful May 23 2014 at 7:09 AM


Flag 0 rate up
hsenpfeffer Hello beautiful May 23 2014 at 9:22 AM

In two words you have summed up every single republiCON and CONservative babbling point.

Flag +1 rate up
turqea.blue May 22 2014 at 7:50 PM

Desalinization plants!

Flag Reply +6 rate up
3 replies
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