The rising global demand for avocados worldwide especially in the United States, Europe, and China  is causing almost irreversible consequences in some parts of the world. The avocado fruit became a popular fruit, known for its nutritious and its beneficial properties such as richness in vitamin E, iron, potassium, and monosaturated fats . However, the cultivation of this fruit tree has a dark side.
For decades its cultivation has caused conflicts in Mexico and in the last decade the conflict has arrived in the South American continent, in the Valparaiso Region more precisely in the Petorca province in Chile. In 2012, Chile was the second biggest exporter of avocado in the world .
With the neoliberalism economic model inherited from dictatorship and the free trade treaty agreements that entered into force in 2004, Chile became a perfect scenario for an agribusiness expansion . In this period, companies grew eyes on the lands of Valparaiso due to its high availability and low price   turning the region into a sacrifice zone . The climate in Valparaiso was another aspect that contributed to the avocado boom in this region, with higher temperatures it becomes very appropriate for the cultivation  of the 'palta' as it is called in Chile. The fruit also started to be called green gold  because of the high profits provided by avocado exportations . This region, which is located north of the capital Santiago has been covered with thousands of avocado trees which have triggered a water conflict in the region, causing several negative consequences to the lives of the inhabitants .
In Chile, water is regulated under the water code of 1981  imposed during the military dictatorship and is regulated by private property laws and distributed to investors on a first-come, first-served basis. This law allows the commodification process of this common good and this privatization has allowed the exhaustion of the water supplies in the region . The avocado is a tropical fruit and needs a lot of water to fructify . This high demand for irrigation has intensified drought drastically. Illegal pipes and wells reroute water  from the rivers to irrigate crops and this has caused the rivers to dry resulting also in biodiversity loss. Dangerous pesticides are used in the avocado plantations causing the contamination of the soil and waterways, not to mention the potential health impacts. This unsustainable agri-business causes not only environmental impacts but drastic social impacts, it leaves the local population without water to even sustain their basic needs  . Provisions taken by the water department (DGA) remain insufficient, trucks deliver and fill water tanks twice a week  . However, it’s not enough to deal with the consequences of water scarcity suffered by the community. Local farmers don’t have enough water to irrigate crops or raise animals and so can't sustain themselves economically  . Climate change has brought lower rainfall making the situation even worse. Furthermore, the drought brings health impacts, since locals need to choose between using the water for cooking or for washing . A water analysis proved that the water supplied by these trucks contains a high level of coliforms (a bacteria found in feces) . While locals are left without water and have their health threatened, the agri-business earns more and more. Some farmers and young people left the region looking for better conditions of life .
As a response to the chaotic hydric crisis, the Chilean Environmental group Modatima for the defense of water and territory  together with local citizens held several street protests in the last years in an effort to pressure for a change in water regulations and to demand corporate accountability . In the year 2019 during one of these rallies, fourteen people were arrested  including politicians of La lingua district involved in the water battle in the region. The problem doesn't end here, Modatima , which also denounced water thefts and shortages before a local court and in international media, said the campaigns led to death threats . The EJO suffered several forms of intimidation and in some cases, even local citizens lost their jobs for having protested against illegal water extraction  . Modatima  had to alter their behaviors fearing that they would be injured . Veronica Vilches, an environmental activist involved in social and artistic action  in the defense of water rights in Petorca has also received death threats . Amnesty International filed a petition to the Regional Attorney General in Valparaiso signed by more than 50,000 supporters from around the world in an effort to protect these courageous human rights defenders.