The Cochabamba Water War of 2000 in 2014
Today’s Betrayers Will Not Erase Our Memory
By Oscar Olivera
Spokesman for the Water War Coordinating Committee in 2000
April 9, 2014
Today’s betrayers will not erase our memory: Fourteen years ago we won, today it seems like we lost, but we have to rise again to win, and we already know how to do it.
From April 4 to 14 in the year 2000 the so-called “Final Battle” was waged in Cochabamba, Bolivia to prevent the privatization of our water. It was part of a strategy designed by the people of Cochabamba in the “Water War” that started on November 12, 1999.
Today, after fourteen years of this historic struggle, the people’s demands are still the same: democracy, transparency, participation and an economic model that allows us all to enjoy the riches that our Mother Earth generously provides for the benefit of all.
Contradictorily, some people who are in government today – and who fought against the big transnational companies, against authoritarianism, against the ruling class’ contempt towards our communal ownership models, against corruption and inefficiency in public institutions – have reinstated with these great evils, with “greater efficiency,” against which the people of Cochabamba fought with their only weapons in 2000: their bodies, their blood and their dignity.
The “Mining Law” project in Bolivia is a clear sign of corruption, of public disregard, of imposition, of pride, of this government’s ignorance. But the most terrible thing is returning to the idea of privatizing our water and the complete disregard of our indigenous, farming and urban communities; of how they are being robbed of their unrestricted access to water and how their demands for a better quality of life are being criminalized. Even worse than that is the fact that the interest of these sacred rights and needs are being sacrificed to the needs and interests of a few businessmen, called “cooperatives”, that act as huge middle-men that allow big transnational companies to keep raiding our land.
Today, in our April, our memory must remain intact, our victories have to be repeated and the betrayers condemned by our people.
May we have many more Aprils!
To victory, always!
LaLlajita, April 4,5,6,7,8,9,10, and 11 of 2014
Oscar Olivera Foronda
Textile Union Leader 1980-2010
Spokesman for the “Coordinadora del Agua” in 2000
Lea Ud. el Artículo en Español
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