Chileans in the town of Caimanes have been protesting for the past week to demand a mining company remove obstacles to their access to water. Protesters say they were met with police violence over the course of their demonstrations at Los Pelambres Mine.
Communities near the mine have been in a protracted battle against Antofagasta Minerals, which owns Los Pelambres, for several years. Residents of Caimanes say the mine, including the tailings dam holding its waste, have caused pollution and water shortages in the area, a claim the company disputes.
Chile’s high court ruled in October that the mine has affected the course of a nearby river, and told Antofagasta to let the water flow naturally and free of contamination. Protesters in Caimanes are now calling on the company to comply with the court’s ruling.