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A lake in Mexico’s ‘magical town’ is disappearing. Authorities blame drought, and theft

A popular lake in central Mexico that is a major tourist destination during the Day of the Dead festivities is drying up due to drought, deforestation, and the theft of its water.

The lake, which is part of a municipality that shares its name and is also known as the “magical town,” is being affected by several “environmental factors” and the “illicit extraction of water,” according to Patzcuaro’s local government.

The municipality says that a new committee created in April to help save the lake has already prevented the theft of “600,000 liters of water per day.”

Authorities say droughts are also affecting the lake, both because its water levels aren’t being replenished and because dry spells encourage criminals to siphon off its water to sell it on.

Both the town of Patzcuaro and its lake are major tourist destinations, especially during its November Day of the Dead festivities.

In a 25-minute video that has gone viral on social media, YouTuber El Perepeche walks over cracked soil where once there was water.

“As you can see, it’s all dry,” the YouTuber says as he walks over the soil.

The alarming scenes in the video, which shows some water from the shores of Janitzio Island, contrasts starkly to the images of fishermen and small boats that appear in government tourism videos of the lake.

Experts told Televisa that deforestation in surrounding areas was also affecting the lake’s water levels.

They said that when parts of the lake dried out it was common for people to plant crops and settle on the new land.

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