UN Water Rights Expert Questions Chile for Placing Economic Development Over Human Rights

Chile has been in the grip of one of the worst droughts in 60 years and last year declared a water emergency in Petorca, the center of its world-leading avocado trade.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - Chile on Thursday, Augst 20th, faced questioning by a United Nations water rights expert who suggested the government could be placing economic development over human rights through controversial agriculture and energy projects.

Leo Heller, the UN special rapporteur on human rights related to drinking water and sanitation, said he had asked the government to “clarify” its approach to the intensive cultivation of avocados in the central coastal region of Valparaiso, as well as the Alto Maipo Hydroelectric Project which lies southeast of the capital, Santiago.

“The Chilean Government would not be fulfilling its international human rights . . .

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