WE MUST DEFEND AND CARE FOR OUR WATER, OUR LIFE SOURCE IS NOT FOR SALE
Estela Marina Ramirez
Compañeros y compañeras, my name is Estela Ramirez and I represent more than a thousand workers with SITRACOSI, a textile union expanding collective bargaining rights across El Salvador. Compañeras y compañeros, I bring you urgent news from the ground here in El Salvador.
Our life source is under threat.
The Legislative Assembly of El Salvador is daring to sign an agreement to privatize the most critical resource for our land and nuestro pueblo, our community. The Assembly approves current laws in our country. Our fight is against the right-wing parties pressuring our politicians to cede our water rights.
We are witnessing yet another example of the Assembly’s weakhanded approach against corporations. Instead of maintaining our water distribution services public, as well as operated by union staff, our representatives insist on a dangerous pattern of deregulation and privatization.
After more than thirty years of seeing our government grant further control to right wing leaders and corporations, they have mounted a threat against our water, and therefore each and every being in our country.
For this reason, thousands of us have joined forces.More than 200 civil society organizations including unions, religious, student and community communities are united in this struggle.
Our demand is this. We want the ANDA (State Autonomous Council) the current, unionized administration for distributing water, to remain a public entity, and not privatized.
We have demonstrated in masses. We are risking everything in order to protect our most precious resources. Dozens of unions, non-governmental agencies, faith based organizations, and even our youth and students have suffered brutal attacks from hired security for our politicians.
But despite our cries, our deputies have yet to deny this privatization deal. In fact, when the leadership committee of all women, representing the National Alliance Against Privatization of Water were to provide testimony in a formal hearing, they turned off our lights and our microphones in an attempt to dissuade us.
But we will not stay quiet.
Compañeras y Compañeros, we ask your support in our struggle. We require resources to raise our voice, and grow our numbers in the most critical fight yet.
With your contribution here , we can protect the rights of the people, and our source of life.
Estela Marina Ramirez