Skip to content

UPDATE: Council launches ‘Conflicts Over Water in Chile’ report today

Today the Council of Canadians launched an English-language version of the report ‘Conflicts Over Water in Chile: Between Human Rights and Market Rules’, edited by Sara Larrain and Colombina Schaeffer of the Chilean non-governmental organization, Chile Sustentable.

In the report’s foreward, Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow writes, “Chile has gone farther than any other country in the world in commodifiying water and creating a market economy based on private water rights. The process started with the 1981 Water Code enacted by the military regime of the time, and was based on a strong pro-business bias. …This important report concludes by noting that 30 years after its experiment with total water privatization, Chile is faced with a serious set of issues around the violation of basic human rights, growing conflicts over declining supplies, water insecurity for the future and environmental degradation. This is a failed experiment and must be exposed as such to the world.”

Today’s launch of this report will include the distribution of Maude’s foreward to teachers and media attending the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan annual meeting in Toronto. The OTPP owns 50.83 percent of the Chilean water utility Essbio and 69.4 percent of Esval. The Council has been calling on the OTPP to divest from for-profit water utilities in Chile and for the ownership of these private, for-profit water utilities to be fully transferred back to public control.

The English edition of this report was possible thanks to the support of the Heinrich Boll Foundation-South Cone Office. The foreward was edited by Council of Canadians publications officer Jan Malek and the report’s layout was done by communications officer Matthew Ramsden. Many thanks to them.

The 60-page report can be read here.