A total of 101 people were injured, including 20 listed in serious condition, and five others were arrested when police moved in to take control of a Mexico City neighborhood from demonstrators opposed to a water project, the Federal District Public Safety Secretariat said.
Residents opposed to the water project in San Bartolo Ameyalco, a town in the Mexico City borough of Alvaro Obregon, put up barricades, set fires, threw bottles at police and used sticks and stones to attack officers, the secretariat said.
“The project in question, which will benefit about 20,000 residents of the town, has been delayed more than 18 years. The borough reported that the start of work was last Feb. 14 and it was constantly halted because of the opponents, who supposedly are protecting an aquifer located there,” the secretariat said in a statement.
Borough officials blame the dispute on the people who currently supply water to residents, the secretariat said.
Local officials asked various agencies, including the police department and the Mexico City Water System, for support during the installation of pipes to supply drinking water.
The Federal District Public Safety Secretariat deployed 1,569 police officers, supported by 94 vehicles and two helicopters, to take control of the area.
“During the operation, five arrests were made and 101 people were injured, 20 of them seriously, who were taken to different hospitals,” the secretariat said, without specifying how many officers were hurt.
Protesters seized two officers and held them for several minutes before agreeing to release them, the secretariat said.