Latin America News - Water Rights

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February 1, 2016
Is Clean Water a Human Right?
This accountability argument mirrors an international debate about water management that has been raging for decades now. It’s a debate that occurs along familiar lines: supporters of privatization argue governments are inefficient, while supporters of nationalization contend that markets are inequitable. Yet the allocation of water resources brings its own unique set of complexities, due largely to the conceptualization of water as an essential human right.
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July 28, 2015
Water Rights in Bolivia: The Consequences of Neoliberal Economics in Bolivia
In the early days of September, 1999 the President of Bolivia Hugo Banzer signed a contract with the Bechtel Corporation. This contract privatized the water supply of the Bolivian city of Cochabamba under the ownership of Aguas del Tunari, a subsidiary of the Bechtel Corporation. President Banzer and Bechtel representative Geoffrey Thorpe were at a party celebrating the signing of the contract when protesters from Cochabamba arrived outside and began chanting in protest to the agreement. Upon hearing the protests, President Banzer said to Geoffrey “I’m used to that background music.”
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May 31, 2015
One issue could dominate upcoming elections in Latin America
This year, tens of millions of voters will go to the polls in several Latin American countries shaken by violence and stuttering economies. But the issue that decides their vote may be as close as the nearest faucet.
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May 27, 2015
Laissez Faire Water Laws Threaten Family Farming in Chile
Family farmers in Chile are pushing for the reinstatement of water as a public good, to at least partially solve the shortages caused by the privatisation of water rights by the military dictatorship in 1981. “Why should we pay for water rights if the people who were born and grew up in the countryside always had access to water?” Patricia Mancilla, a rural women’s community organiser in the southern region of Patagonia, remarked to Tierramérica. That is a question echoed by small farmers throughout Chile.
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March 25, 2015
The human right to water: Salvadoran NGOs and a global campaign
In Latin America’s most water-scarce country, 98% of fresh water is contaminated; metal mining has long been one of the contributing factors.