Saturday, March 24, 2012

A Long Way from Cochabamba

Cochabamba is a town in Bolivia that became known for its resistance to the privatization of water. Bolivia is a majority-indigenous country, but in a film depicting the 1999-2000 protests, I noticed a white, U.S.-educated vice president defending corporate ownership of water resources. Bechtel was forced to back down, even though at least one protester had been killed on behalf of the corporation. The water of Bolivia belonged to Bolivians.

As I mentioned on this blog on the occasion of his re-election, Evo Morales has represented a different path for Bolivia -- a country now being run of, by, and for its people. Writing for The Guardian, Luis Hernández Navarro now reports that by redefining "progress," Bolivia is making tremendous progress. After decades of laboring under the "Washington consensus" -- which was only ever agreed-upon between Washington and Chicago -- Bolivia has been transformed: the economy is growing while inequality is shrinking.

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