rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

In Mexico to participate in the Permanent Peoples Tribunal on the impacts of dams -- Day five

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca in its summer fundraiser today for as little as $5 per month!

Maude Barlow is in Mexico to participate in the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal on the impacts of dams, to visit Real de Catorce where a proposed mine threatens sacred land and local water, and to speak at a public forum in Mexico City on the right to water. This is her fifth blog from this trip.

Packed press conference in a large open air room. Many journalists as well as about 200 activists including many of our wonderful friends from Temaca.

I talked about the UN recognition of the right to water and how it appeared that Mexico was onside as it supported the General Assembly resolution and amended its constitution to add this right. But I said that the government was violating its own commitment with these new dams that violate the right to water of whole communities. Worse, they are building these dams in the name of the right to water to provide water for people in big cities.

I specifically referred to two planned local dams - Zapotillo and Arcediano - both of which are to supply water to Guadalajara. I said they can find this water through conservation, rainwater harvesting, pollution control and protection of source water, and investing in new pipes and infrastructure.

I said it is a gross misrepresentation of the right to water to violate the rights of some communities to supply water to others and said that, in fact, it is the local people, especially indigenous people, who protect the water and know how to do this.

I called on the Mexican government to cancel these and other planned dams and implement a real plan of action to realize the right to water in Mexico, including regulations, legal instruments, and an institution to oversee the plan of action.

I ended with the cry “Temaca Viva!” and the room erupted in cheers.

More to come.

Maude’s first four blogs from this trip can be read at http://canadians.org/blog/?p=17816, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=17740, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=17779 and http://canadians.org/blog/?p=17810.

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.