We Are Fingers of a Hand That Make a Fist: Working Class Alliances in Colorado River Water Protests in the Mexicali Valley, Mexico

Benjamin Warner, UNM

Thursday, April 28, 2022 | 01:30 pm

Latin American and Iberian Institute (801 Yale Blvd NE)

801 Yale Blvd NE (campus building #165)


This is a hybrid event:

This talk explores recent water protests across northern Mexico which emanated from the Mexicali Valley in Baja California, Mexico. Beginning in 2015, communal farmers and industrial laborers, among other groups, aligned under the banner of Defense of Water to protest the construction of a United States-based beverage production facility. Through interviews, participant observation and archival research, I study this social movement through a class-based, historical lens to show how the meaning of water presupposes and represents a century of class politics that has allowed seemingly disparate groups to find meaning and build alliances within it. It is this history that has allowed protesters to achieve shared goals.

Dr. Benjamin Warner joined the UNM Department of Geography and Environmental Studies in 2017, following his appointment as a Postdoctoral Research Scholar at the University of Massachusetts. Warner’s research focuses geographically on Latin America, with additional emphases in Central America, and Southwestern and New England regions of the US. His work is broadly defined as development geography, with specific topics including social movements; water governance and institutions; Central American development; agrarian adaptation in Central America’s “dry corridor;” vulnerability, risk, and adaptation to environmental change and globalization; political economy of climate adaptation programs; critical development studies; and mixed methods.


This event is free and open to the public.