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This research was triggered by our interest in understanding the meaning and reason of the large number of social confrontations over water recorded in the Basin of Mexico during the 1980s and 1990s. These are conflicts over water resources and services ranging from bureaucratic complaints to mass parades, actions of civil disobedience and even direct violence resulting in the destruction of infrastructure and the loss of human lives. The Mexican authorities recognized that by the early 1980s ‘the protests of the majority around water problems were amazing owing both to their depth and breadth’ and that ‘water had become a strong political concern for society’ (Secretaría de Agricultura y Recursos Hidráulicos (SARH), 1988: 175). It seems that water problems attracted even more attention after the urban catastrophes of the mid-1980s, in particular the 1985 earthquakes that seriously damaged the urban infrastructure and further worsened the living conditions in Mexico City.


Water Resource Safe Water Civil Disobedience Social Character Social Confrontation 
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Copyright information

© José Esteban Castro 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Newcastle upon TyneUK

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