Describe the popular struggle of Bolvia.
Bolivia is a poor country in Latin America. The World Bank had pressurised the Bolivian government to relinquish its control of the municipal water supply. As a result, the rights
for the city of Cochabamba were sold to a multinational company (MNC). The MNC immediately increased the price of water fourfold. This caused a spontaneous protest which was not led by any political party.
A new alliance of labour, human rights leaders and community leaders soon emerged and organised a successful four-day general strike in the said city in January 2000. The government relented and agreed to negotiate, resulting in the calling off of the strike. However, the government went back on its word.
As a result an organisation consisting of local professionals, engineers, environmentalists, farmers, confederation of factory workers’ union, middle class students and street children formed the FEDECOR. They organised another strike in April, and the government responded by imposing martial law. However, the MNC officials soon had to free the city because of the continuous protests and the government had to agree to the demands of the people. The contract with the MNC was cancelled, and water supply was restored to the old municipality rates.