1.The popular struggle of Bolivia took place in the city of Cochabamba when the World Bank pressurised the government to give up its control of municipal water supply to the city. Consequently, the rights were sold to a multinational company.
2. The company immediately increased the price of water by four times which led to a monthly bill of Rs. 1000 in a country where the average income was around Rs. 5000. This situation resulted in a popular protest.
3. An alliance of labour, human rights, and community leaders organized a four-day general strike. The government was ready to negotiate at first and the movement was also called off. However, because no significant action was taken, the strike began again in February and the police resorted to brutal repression.
4. Strikes were followed again in the month of April and martial law was also imposed. The power of the people eventually forced the officials of the MNC to flee the city and made the government agree to all the demands of the protestors.
5. Thus the protests of the people bore fruit and the contract with the MNC were cancelled and water supply was restored to the municipality at old rates.
NOTE – Bolivia is a poor country situated in Latin America.
The popular struggle that took place in the city of Cochabamba in Bolivia reflects the power of public demonstrations and the will of the people. It can also be observed that people’s participation is an integral aspect of democracy.
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