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WATER AND DEMOCRACY
Bolivia's fight for Water as a Human Right
A free public event
In 1999, the Bolivian government privatized the public water system in a 40-year concession to a private consortium, including a subsidiary of U.S.-based Bechtel, which quickly hiked rates for local water users by as much as 200 percent. Oscar Olivera, a long-time labor leader, became the spokesperson of the Coordinator in Defense of Water and Life, a coalition of workers, environmentalists, artisans, peasants, and others who believe that water is an essential public good and should not be privatized.
The Bolivian government responded to the coalition's protests with force, resulting in significant civilian injuries and the death of one protestor. After four days in hiding, Olivera emerged to lead negotiations that resulted in 1) the withdrawal of Bechtel and the military troops surrounding the city, 2) the reform of laws pertaining to water services, and 3) the release of persons detained during the conflict. Olivera will report on how the Bolivian people challenged these powerful forces and won back their water rights.
Hear: Oscar Olivera the leader of a grassroots movement that took on the World Bank and Bechtel, one of the world's biggest corporations, over water privatisation
See: The Water Is Ours! An inspiring documentary on the fight by the people of Cochabamba, Bolivia to save their water
Where: Alumni Theatre, University of Ottawa
When: Saturday, October 21, 2000, 7:30 p.m.
Sponsored by: The Council of Canadians and the Canadian Union of Public Employees
For information call Nathalie at (613) 233 - 4487 ext.
Nathalie Bouchard, Organizing Assistant
The Council of Canadians 151 Slater St., Suite 502, Ottawa, ON K1P 5H3
Phone (613) 233-4487 ext. 229 or 800-387-7177 Fax (613) 233-6776