|versión para imprimir - envía este articulo por e-mail|
El siguiente articulo tiene status oculto porque estaba duplicado, era una prueba o no respetaba la politica editorial de publicación abierta del sitio.
Wednesday 21st July In 1992 the majority of the people in Uruguay voted against the privatization of the public services, in a plebiscite organized by the social movements. This delivered an unequivocal message to the government, the international financial institutions and the transnational companies that were driving the privatization of water. This historical landmark in Uruguay, was an example and a source of inspiration for the social movements of all Latin America. Nevertheless, ten years after that striking victory, the Uruguayan government is again set on privatizing public services, with the objective of "saving" the country from the financial crisis which quickly followed the failure of neoliberalism. Water is on sale in Uruguay with the government deciding to include the provision of potable water and gross water extraction amongst its offers. All this within the context of negotiations concerning the liberalization of services under the WTO (World Trade Organisation) and the Free Trade Area of the Américas (FTAA).
The public water service covers more with 95% of the population. In the region (departamento) of Maldonado, water privatization has had terrible effects such as increases in charges and serious technical faults. Two multinational companies took part in these concessions: in the city of Maldonado the concessionaire is URAGUA (a subsidiary of the Spanish company Aguas de Bilbao) whereas in the Balnearios region, on the Atlantic coast, the concessionaire is Aguas de la Costa (subsidiary of the gigantic Suez).
The National Commission in Defense of Water and Life (La Comisión Nacional en Defensa del Agua y la Vida), created in 2002, and integrated by diverse organizations and social movements is rallying the Uruguayan people to speak up again in a plebiscite. The call of the Commision is that a plebiscite for the Constitutional Reformation of Water should be voted this October as well as national elections. This reform would make clear that water is a public good and not to be privatised or marketed as well as being recognized as a fundamental human right, which should be managed sustainably.
The constitutional reform
Through modification of the Constitution these groups are looking for a radical change in the relation of man and water. The water is an essential natural resource for life. Access to drinkable water and access to sanitation constitute fundamental human rights. The national policy of Waters and Sanitation (Aguas y Saneamiento) will be based on land organisation, on conservation and protection of the environment and the restoration of nature, on sustainable management and the preservation of the hydrological cycle with consideration for future generations.
Resource users and civil society would participate in all instances of planning, management and control of water resources. The establishment of priorities for the use of water, of river basins or parts of them would be based on supply of drinkable water to the population as the first priority. The supply of drinkable water and sanitation must put social order before economic order.
Why the Constitutional Reform?
For the National Commission in Defense of Water and Life: "Water must not be privatised, because to privatize water it is to privatize life. Access to drinkable water to all the population must be guaranteed because water is a fundamental and inalienable human right. Water is not merchandise, its value cannot be reduced to the cost of the market. Management of water must be public, participative and have ecological and social criteria. Water reserves must be defended. It is an essential resource for the construction of a productive and sustainable country." In October, the Uruguayan people will decide the future they want with regards to water. Some say that the cry will be heard, "Water for life, water for people".