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Mexico And U.S. Settle Water Conflict Near The Border

MEXICO CITY — A 1940s water agreement between Mexico and the U.S. recently ignited a protest by farmworkers in a Mexican border state southeast of Arizona. But despite the controversy, the Mexican government is saying the deal has been settled. 

Farmworkers took control of a dam in the state of Chihuahua a few weeks ago. They argue most of the water from a local river is being sent to the U.S. under the agreement, affecting their crops.

But president Andrés Manuel López Obrador says the agreement won’t affect the local communities, and that a solution has been negotiated.

López Obrador thanked the U.S. government for reaching an agreement in which border towns in Mexico won’t be affected, by keeping drinking water reserves. 

He said part of the deal will include humanitarian aid from the U.S. in case of a water shortage in Mexico.

The Mexican president said the protest is a political move from his opponents, including Chihuahua’s governor, Javier Corral. 

Rodrigo Cervantes is KJZZ’s bureau chief in Mexico City, where he was born and raised. He has served as opinion writer, contributor and commentator for several media outlets and organizations in Mexico and the United States, including CNN, Georgia Public Broadcasting and Univisión. Cervantes previously worked as the business editor and editorial coordinator for El Norte, the leading newspaper in Monterrey and a publication of Grupo Reforma, Mexico’s premier news group. In Mexico City, Cervantes served in Reforma as a reporter, special correspondent, editor and special sections coordinator. Cervantes also held the editor position at MundoHispánico, a division of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Georgia’s oldest and largest Latino newspaper. He also participated as one of the first members of the Diversity Advisory Group for Cox Media. In 2012, Cervantes was appointed as fellow for the Leadership Program of The New York Times/Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard, as well as for the "Líderes Digitales" program from the International Center for Journalists. In 2010, he was awarded with the Poynter-McCormick Leadership Fellowship. Cervantes graduated with honors in communication sciences and journalism from the Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey (ITESM), Mexico City Campus. Later, he was granted the Fundación Carolina Scholarship from the Spanish government to obtain an MBA degree at San Pablo-CEU School of Business (Madrid). Other awards include: the Power 30 Under 30 Award for Professional and Community Excellence in Atlanta, the Outstanding Alumni Medal from ITESM, and several José Martí Awards for Journalism Excellence from the National Association of Hispanic Publications (NAHP). Cervantes enjoys music, books, travel, friendship, good mezcal and the occasional company of his guitar.