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¡Cochabamba! Water War in Bolivia Paperback – November 1, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0896087026 ISBN-10: 0896087026 Edition: 1 edition

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: South End Press; 1 edition edition (November 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0896087026
  • ISBN-13: 978-0896087026
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #612,903 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Oscar Olivera is the executive secretary of the Cochabamba Federation of Factory Workers and spokesperson for the Coalition in Defense of Water and Life, known as La Coordinadora, that led demands for the water system to stay under local public control. A world-renowned environmental leader and recipient of the 1993 Alternative Nobel Peace Prize (the Right Livelihood Award), Shiva has authored several bestselling books, most recently Earth Democracy. Activist and scientist, Shiva leads, with Ralph Nader and Jeremy Rifkin, the International Forum on Globalization. Before becoming an activist, Shiva was one of India's leading physicists.

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By in2thestreets on May 25, 2005
Format: Paperback
Tired of feeling helpless in the face of the institutions that try to dominate and control our lives? Reading Cochabamba! by Oscar Olivera may be just the tonic you've been looking for.

When Bechtel--currently (re)constructing Iraq and the vastly over-budget Big Dig--tried to privatize the water supply in Cochabamba, Bolivia the people said No! And they meant it. Ordinary working people participating in assemblies and cabildos (town meetings) developed demands. They proclaimed, "The water is ours!" and stood behind those words. After a series of growing protests shut down the town and highways, Bechtel was forced to flee and the town's water regained.

Due to the strength of the movement, and the connections made between different groups, the water is currently managed more democratically than it was by the government before the privatization. An essay on the challenges of administering the water supply provides further inspiration to those struggling for freedom. (Especially those of us who sometimes wonder, "What if we win?") Other essays analyze the significance of the Water War and are complemented by a selection of writings by Oscar Olivera on the imposition of neoliberalism, which created the conditions for the Water War, and what the next steps towards liberation may be.

The essays "For a Constituent Assembly: Creating Public Spaces," "Petroleum and Natural Gas: Reconquering Our Collective Patrimony," and "The Legacy of the Coordinadora" are essential to understand the current uprisings in Bolivia.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jesse S. Walker on February 8, 2005
Format: Paperback
About a quarter of this book actually covers the Water War and what lead up to it. Very basic explanations of what happened and why. The eight days of chaos at the height of the Water War are left almost without description. It seems an odd thing to skimp on details of when the time was so critical.

Most of the book analyzes the impact for privatization and social movements. It's more of a scholarly book than an explanation for the average person.

The end of the book covers the "Gas War" (the fight against privitization of Bolivia's oil and gas reserves).
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Format: Hardcover
The growing water justice movement and the imminent global water crisis provide an important intersection for the power of humanity to over come the power of greed and neoliberal hegemony. Oscar Olivera and the struggle of the Cochabambinos illustrates the type of focus, passion, and urgency needed to combat egregious human rights violations and the leviathan of the World Bank and other international financial institutions.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By wildflowerboy on April 4, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is a must-read for global justice activists interested in understanding the triumphant people's movement in Bolivia to take back their water. An educational, inspirational and engaging read! Olivera's afterward, "They can't privatize our dreams" is simply breath-taking!
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M. Balcazar on February 12, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book doesn't help to understand why there was a war for water and seems that it tries to layout that because of the Water War Evo Morales is President or something like that. If the author has a personal problem to be recognized for what he did, please don't write a book, go a press interview. Lost my time reading this book.
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