As water scarcity deepens across Latin America, political instability grows

Ecuadorians clash with police 30km from Quito in 2010 in a protest over proposed water privatisation. Photograph: Pablo Cozzaglio/AFP/Getty Images

[John Vidal, The Guardian, 01/03/2017]

In Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador disputes over water shortages are part of a wider fight for equal access and shared responsibility.

Bolivia was shaken to its roots in the spring of 2000, when tens of thousands in the city of Cochabamba protested against the privatisation of the city’s water services. One person died and scores were injured in weeks of protest, the company was ejected and the political crisis – known as the first water war of the 21st century – was a catalyst that led to the election of Evo Morales, Bolivia’s first indigenous president.

Morales is still president, but as the longest and deepest drought in Bolivia’s recent history continues to bite in cities across the country, he has cause to fear that…

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