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South America's Deadly Water Wars

By Michael Smith - 2013-02-13T12:53:59Z

Photograph by Gabriel Rinaldi

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Deadly Thirst

Governments and big, often foreign-based companies across Latin America are battling over water with families, communities and farms. Leaders across the region, elected on promises to fuel economic growth and lift populations out of poverty, are fast tracking water-use approvals for mining and other industrial uses. A few miles from Caimanes, Chile, Los Pelambres -- a copper mine owned by the country's richest family -- built a waste dump, or tailings dam. Graffiti on a wall near the dam asks in Spanish, "Where is my water?"