Native groups sit on a treasure trove of lithium. Now mines threaten their water, culture and wealth

By Megan Janetsky, Victor R. Caivano And Rodrigo Abd THE ASSOCIATED PRESS TUSAQUILLAS, Argentina (AP)- Irene Leonor Flores de Callata, 68, treks along a bone-dry riverbed, guiding a herd of llamas and sheep through stretching desert. Flores de Callata’s native Kolla people have spent centuries climbing deep into the mountains of northern Argentina in search of a simple substance: Fresh drinking water. Here, in one of the most arid environments in the world, it’s a life force that underpins everything. In rainy months, the sacred lands surrounding their small adobe town of Tusaquillas well with water. In the dry months, families hike miles under the beating sun, hopeful their livestock can sip from a small plastic container, fed by a hose running high into the distant mountains. Today is a…

This content is for Yearly Subscription, Yearly Subscription – Corporate, and Print Subscription Only members only.
Log In Register

Add Your Voice

Is there more to this story? We'd like to hear from you about this or any other stories you think we should know about. Contribute your voice on our contribute page.