Taos water protesters barred from more demonstrations at well site


A district court judge in Taos issued a preliminary injunction today (April 2) that prevents a loose association of water protestors from staging further action at a water well in El Prado.

Buck Johnston, of Llano Quemado, climbed a well drilling rig located off of U.S. 64 March 14 and stayed on top of the machinery for a four-day prayer action. The demonstration was meant to draw attention to what he and other water protectors describe as the worrying aspects of the Abeyta Settlement.

The well was being drilled by a contractor from Colorado for the El Prado Water and Sanitation District, which is drilling the well to satisfy its requirements under the Abeyta Settlement.

On March 20, Jeff McElroy, chief judge of the 8th judicial district court, granted a temporary restraining order that prevented Johnston and other associates of Guardians of Taos Water from getting within 100 yards of the boundary of the property where the well is located.

The injunction granted at Tuesday’s hearing essentially extended the restraining order as the matter moves through the court. However, the order adjusted the spacial limitations on the water protestors so they aren't barred from congregating on the highway right of way.


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