On an overcast morning June 21 our partners at La Coordinadora del Bajo Lempa and the Mangrove Association rallied more than 900 people representing 31 social organizations and communities from across the Bay of Jiquilisco watershed to march for Salvadorans’ right to water.
The protest was part of a nationwide mobilization calling on legislators to stop considering a bill that would put control of water in private hands, the Integrated Water Law (Ley Integral del Agua) put forth by conservative political parties ANEP, GANA, PCN, and PDC. They are instead asking legislators to again take up the proposal for a General Water Law (Ley General de Aguas) that is widely supported by Salvadoran citizens and civil society. As of now, the Environmental and Climate Climate Committee of the Legislative Assembly is moving forward with the contested proposal.
Conservative legislators and business interests’ repeated declarations that they will not privatize this public good ring hollow. As Minister of Environment Lina Pohl put it in an interview with El Faro, “Why would you put those you’re supposed to be regulating in charge of the body that would regulate water?”
Our partners vow to keep communities informed about water issues and continue to put pressure on decision-making entities to resist policies that would privatize water and disenfranchise Salvadorans.
Here are some photos from the march: