Animals and plants struggle to survive as severe heat dries up the land

A taunting peal of thunder rings out overhead as Diego García de la Peña studies one of his ponds and wonders whether its water will see his cattle through until October.

The 65-year-old farmer – a former bullfighter who quotes Federico García Lorca and whose ancestors were among the legions of steely Extremadurans who bent the New World to their will – is a worried man.

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