>> WORLD BANK HEAD COMMENTS ON WATER PROTEST AS
>> BOLIVIAN PROTEST LEADER HEADS TO WASHINGTON
>>On Wednesday the director of the World Bank, James Wolfensohn, commented
>>directly on the Bolivia water protests and the World Bank's connection.
>>His comments, provided by a Finnish correspondent, come as thousands
>>prepare to descend on Washington to protest Bank policies in developing
>>nations. According the Finnish reporter who attended the Bank leader’s
>>news conference in Washington, Mr. Wolfensohn´s argued that giving public
>>services away leads inevitably to waste and said that countries like
>>Bolivia need to have a "a proper system of charging". The former Wall
>>Street financier claimed that privatizing the Cochabamba water system, an
>>pressed by the Bank, was by no means directed against the poor.
>>Reacting to the World Bank President’s characterization of the Bolivian
>>situation, water protest leader, Oscar Olivera, said Thursday in La Paz,
>>"In Mr. Wolfensohn's view, requiring families who earn $100 per month to
>>pay $20 for water may be ‘a proper system of charging’, but the thousands
>>of people who filled the streets and shut down their city here last week
>>apparently felt otherwise."
>>In it’s June 1999 "Bolivia Public Expenditure Review" the World Bank wrote
>>that "No subsidies should be given to ameliorate the increase in water
>>tariffs in Cochabamba", arguing that all water users, including the very
>>poor, should have bills that reflect the full cost of proposed expansion of
>>the local water system. Water users in the wealthy suburbs surrounding
>>Washington, home to many World Bank economists, pay approximately $17 per
>>month for water, less that what many families were asked to pay after water
>>was privatized in this part of South America’s poorest country.
>>Olivera announced that, if granted a visa from the U.S. Embassy here, he
>>would travel Friday to Washington, DC to participate in the worldwide
>>meetings and demonstrations scheduled there this weekend to protest World
>>Bank and International Monetary Fund policies in poor countries. Olivera
>>said he also wants to meet with the World Bank President. "I'd like to
>>meet with Mr. Wolfensohn to educate him on how privatization has been a
>>direct attack on Bolivia's poor. Families with monthly incomes of around
>>$100 have seen their water bills jump to $20 per month -- more than they
>>spend on food. I'd like to invite Mr. Wolfensohn to come to Cochabamba to
>>and see the reality that he apparently can't see from his office in
>>Olivera’s presence is expected to make the past week’s uprisings in Bolivia
>>a leading example of the abuses of international economic policies,
>>including the privatizing public enterprises such as drinking water, and
>>put a spotlight on the actual effects of the three institution’s policies
>>on poor developing nations. Bolivia’s water protests resulted in the
>>breaking Monday of Bolivia’s water privatization contract with a subsidiary
>>of the San Francisco-based Bechtel Corporation.
>> Note: Reporters interested in speaking with Olivera should contact
>>JShultz@democracyctr.org of call 591-4-290-725.
>> ARMY ASSASSIN WHO FIRED ON WATER PROTESTERS
>> WENT TO "SCHOOL OF THE AMERICAS"
>> A plain clothed sharpshooter, filmed by a Bolivian television
>> network as
>>he fired bullets into crowds of water protesters here Saturday, has been
>>identified as Captain Robinson Iriarte de La Fuente, a graduate of the
>>controversial U.S. government "School of the Americas". According to the
>>Andean Information Network (AIN), a human rights group here, records show
>>that a Roberto C Iriarte de La Puente participated in a fall 1978 combat
>>weapons course at the Fort Benning, Georgia school. According to AIN, "One
>>of his ex-students identified him immediately from the filmed footage and
>>stated that he was extremely brutal and had fired directly into the crowd
>>during water protests several years ago in a nearby town." La Fuente, who
>>did his shooting Saturday from behind a line of uniformed army soldiers,
>>has been arrested. A 17 year old boy, Victor Hugo Daza, was killed during
>>the protest by a bullet through his face.
>> According to AIN, Cochabamba is now governed by a President
>> (Hugo Banzer),
>>Governor (Walter Céspedes), and Mayor (Manfred Reyes Villa), each of whom
>>is a graduate of the U.S. school known for training Latin American
>>militaries in assassination and terrorism techniques.
>>For more information on the School of the Americas see:
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