US water multinational Bechtel Corporation dropped its $50 million legal case in January against the people of Cochabamba for ending its contract to provide water to the citizens of Bolivia’s third-largest city. In April 2000, the company was forced to leave following massive protests against average rate hikes of over fifty per cent. In 2002, the company filed the legal action against Bolivia at the World Bank’s International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (see Update 27). NGO The Democracy Center says this sends a message to other corporations that “we will make you defend your actions in the court of world opinion, not behind closed doors where only a handful of lawyers has a voice”.
In the news
New evidence from Oxfam, the Bretton Woods Project and other NGOs reveals the impact of IFC investments in financial intermediaries on global human rights.
This briefing shows that multilateral governance is at risk if long-overdue IMF quota and board reforms are not ratified.
Donate to the Bretton Woods Project
The Bretton Woods Project is an ActionAid hosted project (UK registered charity no. 274467).