The long-simmering dispute about shared water rights between Mexico and the United States has recently erupted into open clashes pitting Mexican National Guard troops against farmers, ranchers and residents in Rosales and Delicias de Chihuahua.
The locals are against the extraction of water from the three La Boquilla, Las Vírgenes and Francisco I Madero dams. They are opposed to the Mexican government’s decision to divert water from these dams to the US as part of the water sharing pact.
Large parts of Chihuahua along the US border have suffered moderate and severe drought, and the Mexican farmers argue that they need the water for their own crops.
The protesters told Reuters that the water was being "stolen" and that they had gathered because they worried the National Guard would recover control of the dam.
"We're here united to defend Chihuahua, defend the water they're stealing from us," Marisa Flore, one of the participants in Sunday’s protest said. "This is the most critical time we've been living in Chihuahua."
In the National Water Commission of Mexico’s drought monitor, several areas in Chihuahua have been marked as in severe drought. Much of the rest is marked as abnormally dry.