Court’s unanimous decision invokes ILO Convention 169 and could have far reaching consequences for Chile’s mining industry
Chile’s Supreme Court last week handed down a landmark ruling on indigenous water rights in a case that pitted Region I Aymara communities against Agua Mineral Chusmiza, a company seeking the rights to bottle and sell freshwater from a source used historically by Aymara indigenous residents.
The court ruled unanimously in favor of granting a water flow of 9 liters per second to Chusmiza and Usmagama communities. It applied Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization (ILO), an agency of the United Nations that was awarded the Nobel peace prize in 1969. The legal dispute had been festering for 14 years and centers on community water rights in one of the driest deserts on the planet.