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Mexico Recognizes the Human Right to Water in Constitution

February 21, 2012

The human right to water and sanitation is now officially law in Mexico! The president of Mexico published an amendment to article 12 of the country's constitution on February 8. The amendment provides that every person in Mexico is entitled to affordable, accessible, and safe water in sufficient amounts for domestic uses. 

This is the fruit of several years of hard work by civil-society organizations that include the Habitat International Coalition of Mexico (HIC-AL), a UUSC partner and member of the Coalition of Mexican Organizations for the Right to Water. Recently, local congresses in Mexico approved the amendment and sent it to the president to for publication, the final step for constitutional recognition.

HIC-AL responded to the publication of the amendment with excitement. Maria Silvia, the legal coordinator of HIC-AL, spoke with UUSC about the victory: "We are very happy about this reform. We consider this development as an achievement of the social movement and civil-society organizations for the right to water in Mexico and the rest of the world."

However, HIC-AL is mindful of the challenges that may lie ahead in terms of implementation. Silvia captured this when she added, "Today we celebrate, but we must not forget that this right, without participation and mobilization, may be useless or even worse if it becomes a tool of corporations and the interest of the powerful." She concluded with a call to action: "For this reason, we call on the diverse groups and organizations to work together and participate in the elaboration of a new water law to be passed within 360 days from the date of the publication."

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