In September 2004, after years of struggle, the Mazahuan women symbolically armed themselves with farming tools and wooden rifles and formed the Zapatista Army of Mazahua Women in Defense of Water. The Cutzamala System, with 40 km of canals, tunnels and siphons, today pumps 127 billion gallons per year to Mexico City and its 27 municipalities. Meanwhile, the Mazahua communities do not even have potable water.

An endless series of marches on Mexico City, hunger strikes, demonstrations and sit-ins, always dressed in their handsome clothing with their children at their side, made the Mazahuan women so popular that the Mexican government finally agreed to negotiate their demands: safe drinking water and a plan for comprehensive and sustainable development.

As mothers and as indigenous people, the Mazahuan women were able to link the women's movement, the indigenous movement and the environmental movement in the struggle for the human right to drinking water.


© Fundación Nueva Cultura del Agua 2009