Bolivia's Water War
We all know that with the establishment of democracy, the role of popular struggles do not come to an end. The fact that popular struggles are integral to the working of democracy is something we get to see through the people's successful struggle against privatisation of water in Bolivia.
Protests during Bolivia's water war
The World Bankpressurised the government of Bolivia, which is a poor country in Latin America, to give up its control of municipal water supply.
- These rights were sold for the city of Cochabamba to a multi-national company (MNC), and the cost of water was increased.
- There was a protest among the people since one-fourth of the income had to be paid for water.
In January 2000 :-
- a successful four-day general strike was organised in the city by a new alliance of labour, human rights and community leaders. The strike was called off when the government agreed to negotiate.
In February :-
- 2000, since the government had not taken any action the people agitated again, and the police took brutal action.
In April 2000 :-
- Another strike followed and the government imposed martial law.
The officers of the MNC were forced to flee the city and the government was made to concede to all the demands of the protesters, due the power of the people. Water supply was restored to the municipality at old rates and the contract with the MNC was cancelled. This was known as Bolivia's water war.