Caimanes and the Water - Infinite Legal Struggles about a Finite Good

Florian Lehne

Abstract


This report is intended to shed more light on the ongoing water struggle in Caimanes, a small urban area in the central northern area of Chile, neighbouring Latin America’s biggest tailings dam. Undoubtedly, the water in Caimanes is running out and the conflict between the opponents of the dam and its owner, a multinational copper enterprise, is getting more and more attention by the national and also international media. In the discussion a judgment of the Chilean Supreme Court from last October plays a central role, because it is said to have granted the people from Caimanes their right to water. After a short introduction with some details about Camaines and the tailings from the dam El Mauro, the key points of this judgment shall be outlined. The final part of the report is dedicated to various institutional problems of the Chilean resources law and policy that can become virulent for the water supply and the environmental well-being of many other urban areas in the industrialized north of Chile.

Key words: Water; mining-agriculture; urbanization; law; Chile


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References


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