The water wars came to the city of Cochabamba in Bolivia in the 1990s. Thousands of people protested the attempts to privatize the city’s water. The Bolivian army shot and killed a protester and injured hundreds of others. But the people won: in April of 2000, the government cancelled its contract with the Italian-owned International Water Limited and the US-based Bechtel Enterprise Holdings. The city turned over control of the city’s water system to the Coordinator for the Defense of Water and Life in Bolivia, the coalition of workers, environmentalists, artisans, peasants, market vendors and community groups which organized the protests.
We start with Oscar Olivera, the co-founder of the coalition and a leader of the protests, and go out with Vandana Shiva.
- Oscar Olivera, co-founder, the Coordinator for the Defense of Water and Life in Bolivia. The Coordinator is a coaliton of workers, environmentalists, artisans, peasants, market vendors, community groups and local governments. The group organized protests against the privatization of Cochabamba’s water in 2000.
- Vandana Shiva, Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology, India