While nearby Indigenous communities go thirsty, a Coca-Cola bottling plant outside San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, consumes over a million liters of water per day. Public health experts say this is just one of many cases in Mexico where corporate water consumption has taken precedence over local need and the Mexican government is violating the human right to water.
The water is disappearing in San Felipe Ecatepec, an Indigenous town three miles outside of San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, in southern Mexico.
People sometimes walk two hours a day to get water. Others have to buy their water.
“In the past four years, our wells have started drying up,” says Juan Urbano, who just finished a three-year term this February as the president of the Communal Territory of San Felipe Ecatepec. “People sometimes walk two hours a day to get water. Others have to buy their water.”
Where is all the water going?
In between San Felipe and San Cristobal lies a Coca-Cola bottling plant, operated by the Mexican company FEMSA. The plant consumed over 1.08 million liters of water per day in 2016.