9780896087026

Cochabamba!: Water War In Bolivia

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780896087026

  • ISBN10:

    0896087026

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 11/15/2004
  • Publisher: South End Pr

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Summary

Historically a common trust, water is now bought and sold as a private commodity.With billions at the mercy of an unrestrained marketplace, it is easy to understandwhy this precious resource is at the center of the international movement workingto turn back the rising tide of corporate globalization. The triumphant struggle of grassroots activists in Cochabamba, Bolivia, soundeda significant opening salvo in the water wars. In 2001, water warriors thereregained control of their water supply and defied all odds by driving out thetransnational corporation that had stolen their water in the first place. !Cochabamba! is the story of the first great victory against corporateglobalization in Latin America. Oscar Olivera, a 45-year-old machinist who helpedshape and lead a movement that brought thousands of ordinary people to the streets,powerfully conveys the perspective of a committed participant in a victoriousand inspirational rebellion. The beloved and highly respected Olivera relates the selling of the city'swater supply to Aguas del Tunari-a subsidiary of US-based Bechtel-thesubsequent astronomical rise in water prices, and the refusal of poverty-strappedBolivians to pay them. Olivera brings us to the front lines of a movement, chroniclinghow the people organized an opposition and the dramatic struggles that eventuallydefeated the privatizers. With hard-won political savvy, Olivera reflects on major themes that emergedfrom the war over water: the fear and isolation that Cochabambinos faced witha spirit of solidarity and mutual aid; the challenges of democratically administeringthe city's water supply; and the impact of the water wars on subsequentresistance. Oscar Olivera is president of the Cochabamba Federation of Factory Workers and 2001 winner of the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize. Tom Lewis is Latin America editor for the International Socialist Review and professor of Spanish at the University of Iowa.

Table of Contents

Water Democracy by Vandana Shiva ix
About This Book by Tom Lewis xiii
Of Prefaces, Spaces, and Written Voices 1(6)
THE WATER WAR
Privatization
7(18)
Organization
25(8)
War
33(20)
PERSPECTIVES ON THE WATER WAR AND THE COORIDINADORA
The Coordinadora: One Year After the Water War by Raquel Gutiérrez-Aguilar
53(12)
The "Multitude" by Alvaro Garcia Linera
65(22)
Directing SEMAPA: An Interview with Luis Sánchez-Gómez
87(8)
SEMAPA: Globalizing Solidarity
95(10)
OUR REALITY AND OUR DREAMS
The New World of Labor
105(12)
A Political Thesis
117(12)
For a Constituent Assembly: Creating Public Spaces
129(12)
Toward a National and Continental Rebellion
141(12)
THE GAS WAR
Petroleum and Natural Gas: Reconquering Our Collective Patrimony
153(8)
The Legacy of the Coordinadora by Tom Lewis
161(14)
The Significance of the Gas War
175(12)
AFTERWORD
They Can't Privatize Our Dreams
187(4)
Index 191(10)
About the Authors 201

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