Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Politics and boredom

I am now approaching the end of the 48-hour strike by the local farmers, protesting against the privatisation of the water supply. "Strike" here means that everything stops working, from public transport to the water itself this morning. It also involves huge marches, breaking of car windows, and moving of boulders onto the roads. At the moment, they don't have to pay for water here, so at first glance privatisation doesn't seem unreasonable. But, since the farmers need a supply of irrigation water to even be able to grow their crops (as the climate is so dry), you can kind of see why they're angry. On a personal level, the major consequence has been that I've had a very quiet, pretty boring couple of days.

All this is quite similar to what's happening in the Peruvian Amazon, where there are protests against the privatisation of public land. The President says it's in order to share the resources with all the people of Peru, but indigenous leaders (and the Catholic Church, and eco groups) say the environmental consequences could be disastrous.

There are a couple of other small observations I wanted to share, but I have to leave it there for now. Hasta luego...

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