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DemocracyinBolivia:FromSubalterntoCitizen

AnAnalysisofthe2000CochabambaWaterWar
TomLorenzen

May2009 SeniorThesis ColoradoCollege


Alivingmancanbeenslavedandreducedtothehistoricconditionofanobject. Butifhediesinrefusingtobeenslaved,hereaffirmstheexistenceofanotherkindof humannaturewhichrefusestobeclassifiedasanobject AlbertCamus,TheRebel238

Inthe2000CochabambaWaterWar,thesubalternpopulation,inresponseto

theprivatizationofwater,collectivelypressuredthegovernmenttoabdicateits contractualandlegalcommitmenttotheprivatization.Ataglance,thenatureofthe victoryappearstobematerial,but,infact,whenviewedinitsgreaterhistorical context,the2000WaterWarstandsasthedecisivemomentina500yearold identityconflict. Thispaperwillfollowthehistoricprocessofidentitystrugglebetweenthe hegemonicgovernmentandthepoliticallyinvisiblesubaltern.Thesubalternwill bedefinedastheportionofthepopulationthatthegovernment:(1)renders politicallyinvisibleviatheabsoluteexclusionfromparticipatingandcontestingin thepoliticalsphere(2)economicallyobjectifiesthuslegalizingitsexploitation. ThehistoryoftheBoliviansubalternbeginswithSpanishcolonialrule, whichusedaracialcastesystemasitslegalfoundation.Thisformalizedsystemof apartheidbothprohibited,ongroundsofracialinferiority,theindigenous populationfromenteringthepoliticalsphereandlegalizedtheirenslavement. Throughitspoliticalhegemony,theSpanishgovernmentdehumanizedandthus objectifiedthesubalternasessentiallysavages.Afterindependence,theexploitive treatmentofthesubalterncontinuedinasystemofinformalapartheid;thenew republicintegratedthesubalternbutonlynominallyasBolivianothers.

AftertheRevolutionof1952,unifiedsectorsofthesubalternviaforced

negotiationsgainedaccess,albeitlimited,tothepoliticalsphere;however,anew oligarchicparty,relyingoncorporateclientelism,regulatedsubalternparticipation andcontestation.Soonafterthe1952Revolution,asubsequentcounterrevolution, whichwouldlastuntil2000,systematicallyincapacitatedthesubalternsabilityto contestthegovernment.Bythe1990s,thegovernmenthadatomizedthemain subalternorganizationsthathadbeencapableofchallengingthenational government. TheprivatizationofwaterinCochabambalegalizedtheexploitationofwater

serviceandthuspushedtheentirepopulationintoasubalternposition.Inreaction, thesubalterncollectivelyarticulatedwaterasapublicgood,andsuccessfully challengedthegovernmentshegemoniccontroloversubalternity.Waterwas activelyarticulatedasacitizensright.Inthissense,acitizenisdefinedas:(1)one whoispoliticallyvisibleviaactivepoliticalparticipationandcontestationinthe politicalsphere(2)onewhoactivelycreateshisorherownidentityinthepolitical sphere. Oncewaterwassuccessfullyarticulatedinthepoliticalsphereasapublic good,ittransmutedfromthematerialintotheimmaterialinthatwaterbecame thekeystoneofthecitizenidentityinthepoliticalsphere.Throughthecollective articulationofthepublicgood,thesubalterncantranscenditspoliticallyinvisible statusandacquireaneffectualidentityofcitizenship.

ReviewoftheLiterature Thispaperwillexaminethehistorictransformationfromsubalternityto citizenship.Thestrugglewithinthesubalternconditiondefinesthepoliticalhistory ofBolivia.FromtheonsetofWesterninfluenceinBolivia,colonialruleused governmentandlawasinstrumentsofexploitation.Governmentdidnotform aroundnotionsofthepublicgood,ratherarulingoligarchydesignedgovernmentto protecttheireconomicinterests.ThroughoutBoliviashistory,theoligarchyhas takenvariousforms,andyetitsexploitationofthemajorityhasremaineda constant. Bymeansofabsolutepoliticalexclusion,thegovernmenthasbeenableto objectifythepoliticalidentityofthemajority.Inthispaper,politicalidentitywillbe definedasthegovernmentsprescribedidentityforthesubordinatedsubaltern.In otherwords,thegovernmentdefinesthetermsoftherelationshipbetweenthe objectifiedmajority(thesubaltern)andthegovernment.Thetermsofthe relationshipsuperimposeapoliticalidentityonthesubaltern. OverthecourseofBolivianhistory,eachofthevariousoligarchic governmentsdelineateddifferentsocialparametersofthesubalternand correspondinglydifferentpoliticalidentitiesofthesubaltern.Forexample,under Spanishcolonialrule,theSpanishstratifiedallindigenouspeoplesassubalternand superimposedaracializedpoliticalidentityuponthem;threehundredyearslater, theRevolution52oligarchycharacterizedthesubalterndifferentlyusingsocio economicratherthanracialclassifications,whichwerereflectedina mestizaje/campesinosubalternpoliticalidentity.Inthispaper,Iwilldeducethe

givenpoliticalidentityofthesubalternbasedongovernmentlawsandpolicies.It isnecessarytonotethatthepoliticalidentitiesofthesubalternareonlyrelevantin thepoliticalspherewherethegovernmenthashegemoniccontrol. OntheUseofSubaltern

IusethetermsubalternprimarilytoavoidessentializingtheBolivian indigenouspopulation.Thereareanumberofindigenousethnicitiesandcultures, whoseidentificationrelyonthemembersthemselves.Thegovernmentdefinesthe subalternstatus,andthepoliticalidentityreflectsthepoliticalconditionorthe degreeandnatureofsubalternity.Thetermsubalternisone,whichcanbeusedto describetheentirehistoricevolutionoftheoppressed.Inthispaper,Iidentifyand discusseachofthesehistoricconditions.The2000WaterWarsocialmovementcan onlybeunderstoodwithinitsgreaterhistoricalcontext.

PartI:HistoricalBackground
TheColonialPeriod

PriortotheSpanishconquestoftheterritorythatisnowBolivia,theregion wascomposedofvariousethnicpopulationsGuarans,Aymarans,Incansanda numberofAmazoniantribes.Inthe1570s,upontheconsolidationofcolonial control,theSpanishreducedallnativepeoples,regardlessofethnic,culturalor historicbackground,toIndians.TheSpanishrestructuredindigenousidentityasa meanstosubjugationandexploitation.ThelegacyofIndianhaspersistedtothis

dayandisthereforecentraltounderstandingthecontemporarystrugglefor citizenship. TheSpanishcoloniesintheAndeanregionwereforemostorientedtoward

extractionthiswascontingentondomination.Inordertomaintaincontrolover thediverseethnicgroups,whichinhabitedgeographicallydividedregions,the Spanishinstitutedasystemofindirectrule,calledthecacicazgosystem(Hyltonand Thomson36).TheSpanishappointedauthorities,caciques,whowerechosenbased onhereditary,Andeannobility,togovernoverdensesettlementsofindigenous populationsandtoactasintermediariesbetweenthesettlementandtheSpanish (HyltonandThomson36).Inexchangeforlimitedselfgovernment,communal property,andtherighttopracticeculturaltraditions,thecaciazgosettlementswere forcedtopayatributetax,aswellas,supplylabor. Tofacilitatetheextractionofforcedlabor,theSpanishinstitutedamitayo

system.TheSpanishdividedtheregionbetweenCuzcoandPotosinto16mita districtsandrequiredeachdistrict,composedofcariazgosettlements,tocontribute oneseventhoftheentiremalepopulationtooneyearsserviceintheminesof Potos(Postero28).Withinonehundredandfiftyyears,thesilverminedfrom PotosamountedtomorethantripletheamountofsilverinEuropeanreserves,and theextractioncostnothingshortofaholocausteightmillionindigenouspeople losttheirlivesworkinginthemines(Postero28)(Dangl15). Asanadditionalstipulationofthecariazgosystem,theSpanishenforcedthe

repartimientotax.Spanishgovernorsbought,oncredit,largeamountsof commodities(suchasmulticoloredsilkstockings)frommerchantsandthenforced

theindigenouscommunitiestobuytheproductsatahigherprice(Postero30). Frequently,thesepurchaseswouldsendthesettlementintodebt,whichthe governersusedaspoliticalleverageforcontinuedcontrol(Postero30).Inmany cases,thecaciquessidedwiththecorregidoresinordertotakeacutoftheprofit, which,inturn,dividedthecommunitiesagainstthemselvesandinhibitedunified resistancemovements(Postero30)(HyltonandThomson37). Inordertolegallyjustifythisexploitation,theSpanishdividedthepopulation

alongraciallinesintotwodistinctlegalapparatusescreatingadualdualrepublic.In therepblicadelosespaoles,theeconomicallyandpoliticallyhegemonic (peninsulares,criollos,andmetizos)receivedpreferentialrightsandprivileges.In therepplicadelosindios,ontheotherhand,aseparatesetoflawsandinstitutions, whichincludedthecariazgo,mitayo,andrepartimientosystemgovernedthe indigenouspopulations. Thelegallegitimacyofthedualrepublicwasgroundedinacastesystem

basedonbloodpuritythatrangedfromthepurest(theSpanish),tothemostimpure (theIndians).Overtime,thelinebetweenthevariousracialstratificationsbecame increasinglyblurredandarbitrary,butbecausethelegalapparatuswascontingent uponthecastesystem,theSpanishcontinueditsusebutinamodifiedformat (Postero28).TheIndiancametobeidentifiedasonewholivedoncommunal landwhowaspartoftheworkingtributarypopulation(Postero2829).In essence,theSpanishcolonyoperatedasanapartheidsystemthatallowedthe Spanishtocontrolaspecificgroupofpeopleinordertocontinueexploitation.

Bythelate18thcentury,anumberofresistancemovementsformedin

responsetotherepressivecariazgosystem.Attheheightoftheinsurrectionperiod, anindigenousforceofmorethanonehundredthousandwasabletocapturea multipleSpanishtowns(Postero31).In1781,TpacKataribesiegedthecityofLa Pazfor109days.Whiletheserebellionswereeventuallysuppressedbythe Spanish,theydemonstratetheformidableresilienceoftheindigenouspopulation. Neartheendofcolonialism,indigenouscommunitiesunderwentpolitical

changes.NancyPosterowrites: Andeancommunitieshadgraduallyshiftedtoamoredemocratic systemofrepresentation,inwhichauthoritywasnotbasedonnobility orstateregulation,butratheronaccountabilitytothecommunity.The powerthathadbeencentralizedattheapexofthepoliticalsystemwas dispersedtoanumberofsitesinthecommunity,particularlythrough thecivilcargosystem,arotatingsysteminwhichcommunityeldersdo temporarilycommunityservice(Postero31). Thisshiftfromtraditionalformsofleadershiptoamoredemocratic structurewascriticalinBolivianhistory.Theeffectsofthisshiftareseentothisday (Postero31). TheRepublicanPeriod DespiterevolutionaryrhetoricthathadchastisedtheSpainstreatmentofthe

Indians,therepublicans,afterindependencein1835,reinstatedcariazgosystemas ameanstopayoffwardebtsaswellsasmaintaincontrolovertheindigenous population(Postero32).Butastimepassed,duetothechangingdemandsofa rapidlycapitalizingworld,thenewcriolloeliteneededtodevelopamodelof citizenshipthatwouldallowthemtomoreefficientlyexploittheindigenous populationforlabor.NancyPosterowrites: 8

The big paradox for liberalswas how to impose universal definitionsoffreelaborandcitizenshipandtomoldnationalcultures intohomogenouswholeswhileatthesametimecreatingsymbolsand categoriesofinnatedifferencethatwouldsetlimitsonthoseuniversal idealsthis would allow continued domination over the Indian Other(Postero32). The new Bolivian constitution reconciled this paradox. In the constitution,

although suffrage was technically universal, in order to vote one had to be able to readandwriteinSpanish;belandedorpayrent;andnotbeadomesticservant.The qualifications were deliberately intentionally excluded the same indigenous populationthatcomprisedtherepblicadeindios.JustastheSpanishusedthedual republic to sanction apartheid, the architects of the Bolivian constitution used appearanceofuniversalliberalrightstojustifyaninformalsystemofapartheid. In order to advance the nationstate project, in 1874, the republican elites

passed a land reform, which ended the tribute and made holding communal land illegal. The intended effect was twofold. First, by dissolving communal land, the government sought to establish itself as the main source of political legitimacy. Second, the communal land was sold in large tracts, which restructured the traditionalagriculturesystemintolatifundios. Political exclusion and the abolishment of community selfgovernance

situated the indigenous population in an extremely vulnerable position. Without land or political rights, in the republican period, the role of the new Indian Bolivian was to provide cheap, slavelike labor for an exportoriented country tryingtocompeteintheglobalmarket.

The political identity of the Bolivian subaltern was worker/slave. While

nominallyBolivian,thesubalternretainedthedehumanizedstatusfromtheSpanish period.Inthissense,thesubalternwasidentifiedastheBolivianother. TheRevolutionof1952 Increasedsubalternprotestcharacterizedtheearlypartofthetwentieth

century.Peasantsandworkers,wholivedunderdeplorableconditions,articulated demandsforland,theendofrepressiveworkingconditions,accesstoagriculture markets(whichweredominatedbythelatifundios),andpoliticalrightsand representation. Asamajorcatalysttosubalternprotest,theChacoWarofthe1930s,forthe firsttimeinBolivianhistory,unifieddividedsectorsofthesubaltern,mostnotably minersandpeasants.Thewarresultedinthedeathsofover100,000Paraguayans andBoliviansandthelossofBolivianterritory.Thesheerdevastationofthewar strengthenedthesubalternalliancesandcontributedtoapoliticalenvironmentthat wasconducivetopoliticalchange. Intheyearsfollowingthewar,militarizedpeasantsandminerveterans,who

formednewpeasantandtradeunions.Pactsbetweenruralandurban organizationsenabledcoordinatedboycotts,strikesandprotests(Dangl19) Resistancetothegovernmentwasfiercestintheruralareas,especiallyinthe Cochabambavalley,wherepeasantmilitiasstagedattacksonthelatifundios.Many ofthesesubalterngroupswereabsorbedintoanewnationalparty,theMovimiento

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NacionalRevolucionario(MNR),whichwascontrolledbydisenfranchisedurban, whitemiddleclassman. Inordertobuildanationallyunifiedmovementcapableofchallengingthe oligarchy,theMNRchanneledindividualgroupstowarditsownpoliticalaims. LeadersoftheMNRrealizedtheimmensepoliticalpotentialofaminerpeasant coalitionandsotoorganizetheircooperation,theMNRtookadvantageofthe coloniallegacyofcorporatistsocialvaluesandsectoralorganizations(Postero38). OnApril10th1952,themobilizedforcesoftheMNRtookLaPazbyforceand supplantedtherepublicanoligarchy Onceinpower,theMNR,undertheleadershipofthenewpresidentVictor PazEstenssoro,movedquicklytoplacatethepressingdemandsofthevarious groupsthathadenabledtherevolution.OnlythreedaysafterthecouptheBolivian WorkersCenter(COB),arecentlyformedminersunion,demandedthefull nationalizationofthemines.ByOctober31,1952,theMNRhadcompliedand institutedCOMIBOLaworkerrunminingcompany,whichassumedcontrolover 163minesand29,000workers(Dangl21).InJulyof1952,thegovernment establisheduniversalsuffragebringing80%ofthepreviouslyexcludedpopulation intotheelectorate(Dangl21).InAugustof1953,inordertoappeasethepeasant militias,theMNRpassedanAgrarianReformAct,which,intheory,wassupposedto redistributeland;butbecauseofinternalfracturingwithintheMNR,thislawwas nottrulyenforced(Dangl22).Sweepingreformhadcreatedanunstablepolitical climate,which,astimewenton,becamehardertomanage.

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Eachoftherevolutionarysubalterngroups,whichwereorganizedby economicsector,pressuredthegovernmenttomakereformswithintheirparticular sector.Becausethesegroupswerelargeandmilitarized,theMNRpoliticalelites hadtomakeconcessions.Asameanstomaintaincontrol,theMNRelitesresorted togoverningbyclientelism.MerileeGrindlewrites, Whileinpower,thepartybecameskilledatrespondingtospecific needsofspecificgroupsandatdistributingjobsandresourcesto supportersinanefforttoestablishandmaintainorder.Overtime,this responsebecamemoreembeddedinthedynamicsofeverydaypolitics, andeventuallysuchsupportfortheMNRreflectedresponsetothe particularisticneedsoforganizedgroupsratherthanidentification withaprogramorevenaleadershipgroup(Grindle336). Sincethestatehadcontrolovertheresourcesespeciallyrevenuefromthe mines(whichaccountedforover95%ofallexportsand45%ofstaterevenue), politicianscouldusefundsinordertopurchasesupport.TheMNRdividedthe subalternpowerbytheselectiveuseofpatronage(HyltonandThomson78). Also as a means to consolidating their power, the MNR elites attempted to mollifythesectoralandethnicradicalizationbycreatingaunitarynationalidentity. The MNR elites did not politically recognize individual ethnicities, rather they createdtheirownunitarynationalidentity:themestizo.JavierSanjinswrites The1952Revolutionhademphasizedthepoweroftradeunionsand peasantmilitias,andtheIndianhadbeentied,withgreatpoliticalzeal, tothesemovementsThisbindingofthepeasanttothestatewas particularlyevidentinthepeasantunionismoftheQuechuazones aroundCochabamba,wheretheprocessofmestizajewasmuchmore intenseandprolonged(Sanjins14). TheMNRelitespoliticaluseofmestizoindicatesthecontinuationofthe

Republicannationbuildingproject;theunitaryidentitywasdesignedtoblurthe differencesbetweeneconomicsectors,ethnicities,classes,levelsofbloodpurity 12

andcivilizationessencesandunitethecountryaroundasingleBolivian(MNR) identity(HyltonandThomson80).Theelitesdefinedthenewmestizocitizenasa consumerandproducerofmerchandise,aspeakerofSpanishandanaspiranttoa westernidealofcivilization(Cusicanqui177). Inordertoestablishcontroloverthevarioussubalterngroups,whichwere organizedwithintheeconomicsectors,MNRgovernmentsponsoredsindicatos (workerunions)andcreatedacampesinoministry,whichcooptedpeasantmilitias (Postero39).Theworkerprogramsdirectlyconnectedthesubalterngroupstothe stateandthusfostereddependency.Thepoliticaleffortsoftheeliteswerechiefly focusedonpreventingthedissolutionofthestateandthereturntopoliticalchaos. Duringthisperiod,theminersunionsandthepeasantmilitiashadthepowerto directlyinfluencethepoliticalactionsoftheMNRelites.Therewasnoseparation betweenthewhimsofthesesubalterngroupsandpoliticalcapabilityoftheMNR elites.Duetothepoliticalforceofthesesubalterngroups,theMNRelitesdeveloped astyleofgovernmenttomeettheirneeds.Viaclientelism,theMNRelitesmanaged theircontrolovergovernment. Inthisstyleofgovernment,thesubalternindividualcouldonlyparticipatein thepoliticalsphereasacampesinoorasaworker.SincetheMNRmaintained powerbybuildingclientelisticcoalitionswiththemainsubalterngroups,the generalelectionsweremeaningless.TheMNRelitesonlyacknowledgedthe associationsthatwereneededforpowerstability.Becauseofthisclientelistic systemofpolitics,theonlyavenueofsubalternpoliticalrepresentationwasthrough

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thesindicatosandthepeasantunions.Thismodeofparticipationandcontestation wasseverelylimited. Theunions,suchastheCOB,thathaddirecttieswiththeMNReliteswere hierarchicalandbureaucratic.Whiletheunionswieldedsubstantialpower,these werenotdemocraticorganizations,butratherwereoftencontrolledbycorrupt leaders(Postero39).Furthermore,subalternworkerswereobligatedtojointhe unions,andassociatetheirpoliticalviewswiththeunion.Withhopesofindividual representationlimitedtostatecontrolledassociations,thesubalternremained politicallymarginalized.AstheMNRconsolidatedpower,themarginalizationofthe subalternwasincreased.BenjaminDanglwrites,Astimewenton,rightwing elementswithintheMNRcooptedandweakenedthesocialmovementsthathad broughtittopower,pushingtheradicallaborandagrariangroupsparticularlythe COBoutofthepoliticalsphere(Dangl22). Whilepoliticaldisenfranchisementcontinued,theMNRrevolutiondidhavea positiveeffectonthesubalternstatus.Newlawsandpoliciesimprovedliving conditions,andpeasantsandworkersdidgainexperienceinthepoliticalsphere. TheCOB,whichcontrolledthestatesmostvaluableindustry,wasespecially powerfulduringthistimeandwasthereforeabletoobtainsignificantreforms. Bythe1960s,theMNRelitepowerfragmentedandwanedintodissolution. ThedownfalloftheMNRresultedfromitsinabilitytomanageincreasinglyradical sectordemands.AsitbecameobviousthattheMNRwasmoreconcernedwiththe maintenanceofpoweroveractualreform,therevolutionaryregimebegantolose

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politicallegitimacyamongsubalternorganizationsthathadplacedthepartyin power.This,inturn,ledtoincreasedradicalizationandpoliticalchaos. Morethananything,theMNRcollapsedbecauseitlackedapolitical backbone.Theunificationofthesubalternhaddissolvedafterthemainobjectiveof theRevolutionhadbeenachieved.BecausetheMNRhadmadeitselfonewiththe subaltern,thestatewaspulledinalldirections.Therewasnocheckonacceptable politicalbehavior,norwasthereanagreedupondirectionorvision.Politically dividedindividualsectorspursuedtheirownagendasoftenattheexpenseofother subalternsectors.Theclientelisticcoalitionsystemofgovernancethatdeveloped, asameansofmaintainingorder,establishedamaterialbasedrelationshipbetween thegovernmentandthesubaltern.Thepoliticalparticipationandcontestationof thesubalternwaslimitedtobiddingforgovernmentpatronage.Forthesubaltern, therewasnowaytochallengetheactualinstitutionvialegitimatemeansthiswas thecauseforthefractionalizationandultimatelyendoftheMNRgovernment. TheCounterRevolution:19641982 Inresponsetothepoliticalupheaval,themilitarycapitalizedonthepolitical fragmentationoftheMNR,usurpedpowerin1964.ThemilitarycoupledbyRen BarrientoswassupportedbytheUnitedStateandassumedaColdWaranti communistideology.Afterthecoup,theBarrientosregimecouldnotrelyonthe militaryaloneforcontrolbutneededthesupportofthesubaltern.Inorderto securecontrol,theBarrientosregimeexploitedthesectoraldivisionscreatedbythe MNRandbarteredanalliancewiththepeasantmilitiasandusedthissupportinits

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effortstosuppresstheminersunions,whichstoodasthemostformidable challengestotheregime.TheMilitaryPeasantPactformalizedanagreement,which gavepeasantsland,education,andstatedevelopmentfunds,inexchangeformilitia support.Relationsbetweentheregimeandthepeasantswerefacilitatedby Barriento,whospokefluentQuechuaandwouldroutinelytravelbyhelicopterto peasantcommunitiestogiveoutsuchthingsassoccerballsandtelevisions(Hylton andThomson84).InJuneof1967,thegovernmentandapeasantmilitiamassacred eightysevenmen,womenandchildreninaminingtown(SanJuan)outsideof Potos.ForrestHyltonandSinclairThomsonwrite, Though miners struck for the next two weeks in protest, they had suffered a historic defeat. Their peasant brothersQuechua Aymaras and mestizoswere against them, or at best indifferent. ThisiswhatReneZavaletareferredtoastheisolationoftheBolivian proletariat(HyltonandThomson84). This event and others dramatically alienated the two largest subaltern

sectors.Italsomarksasignificantdevelopmentingovernmentsubalternrelations. The Barrientos dictatorship began the process of separating the government from direct subaltern influence. This was the counterrevolution. The MNR had established direct relations with the subaltern via economic and clientelistic integrations.Enormoussubalternorganizationsthusheldpowerinthosesections of the political sphere and demanded recognition in the decisionmaking process that concerned their sectors. In this sense, in the MNR period, the subaltern did haveaccesstothepoliticalspherebutonlyinalimitedsensewithintheinfluence oftheirparticularsector.Barrientossoughttoretakecontroloverthesectorsthat

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wereunderthesubalterninfluence.Beginningwiththeminingsector,thecounter revolutionremovedthesubalternfromthepoliticalspherepiecebypiece. In 1971, Bolivian general Hugo Banzer took control of the government. At

this point, state power was more widely consolidated and thus the Banzer regime wasnolongerreliantonthesupportofpeasantmilitias.Becauseofthis,Banzerwas able to exclude and suppress a wider range of the subaltern. Numerous protests were violently suppressed. In the Massacre of the Valley of 1974 in Cochabamba, the government suppressed a peasant protest and killed between 80 and 200 protestorsnottenyearsbefore,thispeasantregionhadbeenheartofsupportfor theBarrientosregime(HyltonandThomson86). UnderBanzer,thesubalternwasremovedfromthepoliticalsphere,butthis did not preclude the subaltern from making demands to the government. Nancy Posterowrites: Sindicatos obtained concessions from the government for its constituentsthroughmobilizations,strikes,andthethreatofpopular violence.Thuspoliticiansandsindicatossharedpowerinanuneasy truce, an equilibrium regularly broken by violence and conflict (Postero132). Ren Zavaleta called this political system of forced negotiations the poder dual (dual power) (Postero 132). During this time, the poder dual was a defining featureofBolivianpoliticsthatoccurredwithacyclicalregularity:subalternworker unions would force the government to negotiate directly, the government would then placate with promises and concessions (or outright suppress the protest); thesepromisewerethenignored,which,inturn,forcedmoreprotests(Postero132 133).Sincethesubalternworkerpopulationwassolargeandsincetheeconomy

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wassodependentuponsubalternlabor,thesubalternworkerorganizationshada considerable amount of power. The subaltern did not have direct access in the politicalspherebutitcouldstillimpressuponit. Katarismo:IndigenousIdentity The Katarismo movement was the most influential subaltern social

movement during the counterrevolution. Katarismo was originally developed in the mid1960s as a counternarrative to the homogenizingmestizo policies mandatedbytheMNR.DevelopedbyAymaranintellectuals,theIndianideology called for the recognition of Indian rights within a multicultural Bolivia (Postero 42).Drawingfromhistoricalresistancefigures,suchasTpacKatariwholaidthe 1781 siege on La Paz, Katarismo engendered a historicethnic nationalism. Javier Sanjinswrites, ThetwogreatachievementsofKatarismowere,first,toperceivethe continuityofcolonialismthatmarkstheothersideofmodernity,and, second, to see that politically the Indians formed a national ethnic majority(Sanjins1415). WhereassocialmovementsduringtheMNRperiodmadedemandsdirectlytothe state,Katarismodemandedthecompleteoverhaulofthestate.Initsmostmilitant forms, Katarismo sought to overthrow the government and establish autonomous indigenousnations. The articulation of an Indian identity, albeit one not acknowledged by the

state,helpedtomendsubalternsectordivisions.Usingancestralcommonality,the katarista Indian identity unified both miners and peasantsrural and urban dwellers. In the period between 1977 and 1984, Bolivian peasant unions, which 18

previouslyhadbeenintenselymestizajeintheirselfidentification,begantojointhe Katarismo movement (Sanjins 15). In the late 1970s, this identificationshift culminatedwhentheConfederacinSindicalnicadeTrabajoadoresCampesinosde Bolivia (Unified Confederation of Bolivian Peasant Worker Unions CSUTCB), a federation that organized and channeled peasants political goals, began working withtheTupajKatariRevolutionaryMovement(MRKT)(Sanjins15). Katarismoprovidedaforumforthesubalternpopulationtodiscusstheissue

of indigenous identity. This debate occurred autonomously from the government, whichhadpoliticallyexcludedthequestionofidentity.Whileconsensusamongthe different factions of Katarismo was never reached, the very process of holding the debate had important effects. Katarismo represents the first government independent attempt at an articulation of a national identity. Rejecting the states definition of the citizen, the subaltern population began to define their own conceptionofwhatitmeanstobeBolivian.Katarismothusenabledthesubaltern population to identify itself as separate from the governments imposed political identity. TheNeoliberalBigBang In1982,Bolivianreturnedtodemocracy.Rightswerenominallyrestored,

andthesubalternremainedexcludedfromnationalpolitics.Apartycoalitionthat representedeliteinterestssharedpower.In1985,VictorPazEstenssoro,whohad recentlyreturnedtopoliticsafterbeinginexile,orchestratedthePactoPorLa Democracy(PactforDemocracy)betweenthemainparties.Theagreementcalled

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forlegislativestabilityinordertoimplementneoliberalstructuralreadjustmentsin ordertorecoverthefailingeconomy.Thecountryinthechaoticyearsafterthe revolutionhadacquiredamassiveamountofinternationaldebt.This,alongwitha collapseintheworldtinprices(Boliviasmainexport),sentBolivianseconomyinto hyperinflationin1985,inflationhadreacheditspeakof27,000%(Hyltonand Thomson95).WithunanimouspoliticalsupportguaranteedbythePactfor Democracy,Estenssorhadthepoliticalpowertooverhaultheeconomyandcontain protest. UnderpressurefromtheWorldBank,EstenssorowiththeaidofAmerican economistJefferySachsliberalizedtheBolivianeconomy.The1985liberalreforms oftheNewEconomicPlanwerecomprehensiveandextreme:markets,salariesand priceswerederegulated;theBolivianowasdedollarized;thetraditionalagriculture structurewasdismantled;andthetinindustrywasprivatized.Thesocialcostof thesereformswasenormousasthelivingconditionsforworkersinboththe agricultureandminingsectorsignificantlydeteriorated. Theliberalizationoflaborlawsdisempoweredthesubalternworker organizations,which,inturn,erodedthesubalternworkerscapacitytoforce negotiationswiththestate.Laborlawswererestructuredtobenefitbusiness ownersandcurtailthebargainingpoweroftheunions.Thesechangesespecially affectedtheminingsector.Thenewlyprivatizedmineslaidoff20,000miners,who werethenrelocatedbythegovernmenttoindustrialcitiesaroundthecountry (HyltonandThomson9596).In1986,theEstenssorogovernmentsanctioneda massacreofaminersprotest,theMarchinDefenseforLife.OscarOliverawrites,

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Todaythankstothisassault,whichcoincidedwithaworldwideminingcrash,nota singleunionizedworkerremainsinthemines(Olivera13).Withoutcollective bargainingpower,theminers,whohadnottheirjobs,wereforcedtoworkin conditionsdictatedbyownersofthemines. Theneoliberalreformsalsoerodedthepowerofpeasantorganizations. Sincethereformsreorientedtheeconomytomaximizeexports,thepriceof agriculturepricesplummetedthiscausedmanysmallpeasantfarmstocollapse.A droughtandalivestockepidemicintheintheearly1980sexacerbatedtheeffectsof theeconomy(Goldstein71).Thousandsofpeasantsmigratedfromthealtiplanoto industrialcitiesortotheburgeoningcocainemarketintheChapare(Goldstein71). Thisdispersionfragmentedthesolidarityofoncepowerfulpeasantorganizations. ThereformsoftheNEPcompletelyrestructuredthesubalternlaborforce. Peasantandminermigrationtoindustrialcitiesledtoamassiveinfluxinformaland informalmanufacturingindustryjobs.In1986,therewere83,000inthe manufacturingindustry;by1991,thisnumberhadincreasedto150,000and reached231,000in1995and390,000by1997(Olivera107).Whiletheindustrial manufacturingsectorexpanded,unemploymentremainedhigh.By1991,morethan 45,000minersandstateadministratorsand35,000factoryworkers(duetofactory shutdowns)hadlosttheirjobs(HyltonandThomson9596).From1989to1996, thenumberofworkersinpermanentjobsdeclinedfrom71%to29%(Olivera107). Reflectiveofthelackofformalemploymentopportunities,in1991approximately 60%oftheurbanpopulationsubsidedoffinformalactivities,andofthose families,halfwereunabletomeetbasicfoodcosts(HyltonandThomson96).

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Desperateconditionscombinedwithliberalizedregulationsfragmentedthe subalternworkforceandhinderedtheformationofasignificantsocialmovement. Intheurbanindustrialsector,theunstableneoliberalmarketprecludedsubaltern workerorganizations.Thenewlaborlawsgaveemployersflexibleuseofthe workforce.Subalternworkerswerestrippedoftheirrightstobasicjobsecurity, adequateworkingconditions,andafairsalary(Olivera107).OscarOliverawrites: Thegrowingfragmentationofconditionsinwhichproductionactivitiestake place,andtheuncertaintyandinsecurityofemployment,makeseachmembera travelingworker,bouncingamongthesmallfactory,commercialworkplace, agriculturelabor,andbacktotheshopfloor(Olivera107). Temporarycontractuallaborandthethreatofjobterminationpreventedthe formationofworkerorganizations.Also,thiseconomicinsecuritycreatedadivided andcompetitiveworkeratmosphere,whichfurtherinhibitedworkercollaboration (Olivera107). The1985NEPandthesubsequentatomizationofthesubalternworker completelyunderminedthePoderDualthathaddefinedBolivianpoliticsfrom1952 to1985.Bydismantlingthecountryslargestunionsandfragmentingthesocial relationsofthesubalternworker,thegovernmentendedthecycleofforced negotiationsandthereforeseparateditselffromthelastvestigesofsubaltern control.Inapoliticalsystemdominatedbyclientelismandcorporatism,this developmentrenderedthesubalternpoliticallypowerless. Withoutpoliticalpower,thevoiceless,amorphoussubalternpopulationhad nopoliticalidentitywithinthecontextofthestate.WhileKatarismoprovidedan

22

identityoutsideofthestate,itwasunabletosecureapoliticalidentityforitself insidethestate.TheethnicbasedclaimsofKatarismowerenotconsidered politicallyviablesincethegovernmentrefusedtheethnicdebateentirelyandonly acknowledgedthemestizajeasthenationalethnicity.Furthermore,because Katarismowasneverabletoarticulateandconsolidateaunifiedmovementcapable offorcingnegotiations,itnevergainedalegitimatepoliticalidentity. Bydissolvingworkerorganizations,thegovernmentdelegitimizedthe politicalidentityconstructofthepeasantandthesindicalista.Intheyears between1952to1985,workerorganizationsgainedpoliticalviabilityalbeit indirectlythroughforcingnegotiations.Onlybycompletelyidentifyingoneselfwith thepoliticsoftheworkerunioncouldasubalternindividualobtainalimited politicalvisibilityinthepublicsphere.Duringthecounterrevolution,subaltern politicalidentitydependedupontheunionsabilitytoforcenegotiationsandthe governmentstoleranceoftheunion.Therefore,after1985,thedisbandingofthe workerorganizationsdissolvedthepoliticalidentityofthesubalternworkersince thegovernmentwasnolongerforcedtoacknowledgetheorganizations.Inthe midstofhorrendouslivingconditions,thesubalternwasagainpoliticallyinvisible. MulticulturalDecentralization Intheearly1990s,theBolivianeconomy,despitethepromisesofthe1985

reforms,wasstillinastateofdisarray.Characterizedascorruptandoverly centralized,theBoliviangovernmenthadmadelittleprogresswithits modernizationplan.In1993,GonzaloSnchezdeLozada,whohadbeenthechief architectoftheNEPunderEstensorro,waselectedpresidenthavingrunonaquasi 23

populistplatformpromisingsocialandeconomicreform;Lozadasvicepresident selection,VctorHugoCrdenas,aformerKataristaleaderandintellectual,helped legitimizehispledgesamongindigenouspopulations(HyltonandThomson99) Onceinpower,theLozadaadministrationshedthemestizajeethnicpolicyand declaredBoliviatobemulticulturalmeaningthegovernmentwouldformally recognizeethnicdifferences.Althoughthispolicychangeappearedtobeasignof socialprogress,Lozadausedthesemblanceofpopulistreformtocontinuethe implementationofneoliberaleconomicreforms(HyltonandThomson). Politicallyframedasacommunityempowermentproject,theLawofPopular

Participation(LPP),promulgatedin1994,decentralizedthedistributionofstate revenue.Inordertocircumventthecorruptandinefficientcentralgovernment, undertheLPP,thegovernmentchanneleddevelopmentfundstoinstituted communitydevelopmentorganizations,OrganizacionesTerritorialesdeBase (OTBs).Theseorganizations,whichwererunbycommunityelectedleaders,were givencontrolovertheappropriationofstategrantedfunds.Intheory,theOTBs wouldallowthegovernmenttomoredynamicallyrespondtolocalproblemsby utilizingcommunityparticipationandinitiative(Postero131). WhiletheOTBsallowedthesubalterngroupstoparticipateingovernment, theirparticipationremainedregulatedbythecentralgovernment.DanielGoldstein writes,ParticipacinPopularenabledthenationstatetoidentifyandregulatelocal basecommunitiesbydeterminingtheforumsuchcommunitiesmusttakeandthe meansbywhichtheymustoperate(Goldstein80).Byimposingastatecontrolled politicalstructureatthelocallevel,thegovernmentunderminedthelegitimacyof

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preexistingformsofcommunityorganization,suchasneighborhoodassociationsor peasantunions;andthusextendedpoliticalhegemonyoveraportionofthe populationthathadpreviouslyresidedoutsidedirectgovernmentcontrol(Hylton andThomson99). Havingalreadyerasedallformsofthesubalternspoliticalidentity(by dismantlingtheworkersorganizations),thegovernment,throughmulticulturalism andtheLPP,attemptedtoimposeanewidentityuponthesubalternpopulation.In thedecentralizedpoliticalsystem,thepoliticalparticipationofthesubaltern populationwaslimitedtoregulated,communityactivism.PurposelytheOTBsdid notprovideaforumtocontestorparticipateinnationaldecisionmaking;ratherthe spanofpoliticalcontestationwasdelimitedtolocaldecisionmakingregarding developmentprojects(Postero132).Sincethegovernmentonlyacknowledged subalternswhoparticipatedintheOTBs,subalternpoliticalidentitywasconfinedto thestatesdefinitionofacceptablesubalterncontestation. In spite of the narrow scope of contestation in the OTBs, the subaltern communities did gain valuable skills in the practice of government. Through the processofcoordinatingdevelopmentprojects(suchasdiggingawell),communities strengthened organizational structures (Postero 218). Also, in the participation process communities developed their sense of political rights. Nancy Postero writes: Bylearningtechniquesoftheselfsuchpersonalskillsasrational participation,effectivemoneymanagement,and,mostimportant, responsibilizationIndianleaderspreparedfortheexerciseof citizenshipinmulticulturalBolivia(Postero218).

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Thus,theOTBsgavesubalternmembersfirsthandexperienceinan extremelylimitedportionofthepoliticalsphere.Theseskillswouldlaterbeapplied inthearticulationofnewformsofsocialmovements. Onthemacrolevel,thelimitedparticipationofferedbytheLPPprovideda politicaldistractionasthegovernmentcontinuedtoliberalizetheeconomy(Hylton andThomson99).Between1995and1997,theoilandgas,telecommunications, airline,electricity,andrailroadcompanieswereprivatized(HyltonandThomson 99)(Postero131).Decentralizationwasforemostamodeofpoliticalcontrol;using politicaldistractionandinstituted,regionalfragmentation(decentralization),the governmentwasabletocontinueimplementingtopdowneconomicreform. AsanunintendedconsequenceoftheLPP,thedecentralizationofstatefunds transferredthecorruptionthathadplaguedthecentralgovernmenttothe municipallevel.Overtime,politicalpartiesandNGOsestablisheddominanceover theOTBs,andsubsequentlytheseorganizationsbecamethenucleiofclientelism andcorporatism(Postero218).Again,evenatalocalgovernmentlevel,the subalterncommunitieswerecontrolledanddeniedlegitimateparticipationand contestation.Becauseoframpantcorruption,theOTBslostmuchoftheirlegitimacy amongcommunities.Disenfranchisedsubalterncommunitiesthusbeganexploring othermodesofobtainingpoliticalpower. LeadingUptotheWaterWar:TheHistoryofCochabamba Foundedin1571,Cochabamba,oncereferredtoasthesiloofBolivia,wasa

mostlyrural,grainproducingdepartment.Upuntilthe1950s,rural,Quechua

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peasantsconstitutedthemajorityoftheDepartment1ofCochabamabasdenizens. ThelatifundiossystemdominatedagricultureintheCochabambavalleyuntilthe endofthe19thcentury,when,duetochangingtrendsineliteinterests2,piqueros, peasantsmallholders,wereabletopurchasesmallplotsofland(Goldstein57).In the1940s,frustratedbyinequitablelanddistributionandthemonopolythat latifundioscontinuedtoholdovertheagriculturemarket,piquerocommunities formedmilitiasandforcefullyclaimedlatifundioland.Later,thesemilitiasplayeda seminalroleintheRevolutionof1952. Beginningwithamigrationwaveinthe1950s,thedemographicof

Cochabambaunderwentamajortransformation.VeteransfromtheChacoWarof the1930sandAymaranpeasantsfromthealtiplano,uprootedbydrought,migrated tothecityofCochabambainsearchofopportunitiesinthethrivinginformal economycenteredonsmallscalescalecommercialopportunitiesintheCancha3, artisanalandindustrialwork(Goldstein72).Inthe1980s,asaresultofthe neoliberalreforms,Cochabambaexperiencedasecondwaveofurbaninflux. CochabambareceivedanumberofrelocatedminersfromPotosandOruro,and Aymaranpeasantsfromthealtiplano,whohadmigratedbecauseoffalling agricultureprices,drought,andalivestockepidemic(Goldstein71). MigrationcontributedtotherapidurbanizationofthecityofCochabamba.

From1950to1976,Cochabambaspopulationincreasedfrom80,000to204,000 1ThereisaDepartmentofCochabamba(thestate)andacityofCochabamba(thecapital). 2Duringthistime,economicelitesreorientedtheirintereststowardurbancommerce,industryand

trade. 3TheCanchaisamassiveindigenousmarketplacethatoperatesasaclearinghouseforthe departmentsagricultural,industrialandartisanproducts.

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(Goldstein62).By1992,Cochabambaspopulationhadreached408,000thousand, andforthefirsttimethepercentageofurbandwellersoutnumberedthepercentage ofruraldwellersinthedepartmentfrom1950to1992,thepercentageorurban dwellershadincreasedfrom24%to52%(Goldstein71).BythetimeoftheWater Warin1999,theurbanpopulationhadgrownto500,000(Dangl58). Theurbaninfluxfarexceededthecitysabsorptioncapacity,andthisledto

thedevelopmentoflargesquattersettlements(marginalbarrios)ontheperiphery ofthecity.Withalackofaffordablehousingwithinthecityproper,migrantsseized andoccupiedlandillegally(Goldstein29).Thesesettlementsexistedwithoutaccess togovernmentservicestransportationinfrastructure,electricity,policy,wateror sewage.Insteadofattemptingtodeveloptheperiurbanareasandestablish control,inthemid1970s,themunicipalgovernmentdeclaredthesettlements illegalandofficiallybeganapolicyofexclusioninotherwords,theperiurban settlementsweremadeinvisibleandthuscompletelyignored(Goldstein79).The policydeclaredthelargest,mostimpoverishedsettlementsintheSouthtobe congelado(frozen),essentially,amandateddenialofbasiccivilrights(Goldstein 79).In1993,80%oftheperiurbanbarrioswereconsideredillegal,constituting 40%ofthecitystotalpopulation(Goldstein79).Withamandatedillegalstatus,the governmentcompletelydeniedtheperiurbansquattersapoliticalidentity.Butas DanielGoldsteinwrites,Theunintendedconsequenceofexcludingthese neighborhoodsfrommembershipinthecityhadbeentopreventthestatefrom penetratingandcontrollingtheexcludedbarrios(Goldstein79).Toaddressthis issue,in1993,themunicipalgovernmentadoptedapolicyofinclusion.

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InasimilarimplementationofSnchezdeLozadaspolicyofmulticultural

decentralization,ManfredReyesVilla,themayorofCochabamba,decentralizedthe distributionofdevelopmentfunds.Villasnewprogramofinclusionwas politicallycastassociallyprogressive.UndertheguidanceofVillastechnocrats,the governmentestablishedTalleresZonalesinsixofthemarginalbarriosdeemedmost inneed.ComparabletotheOTBs,theTalleresZonaleswerelocalgovernment bodies,whichprovidedtechnicalandadministrativeassistancetocommunity developmentprojects(Goldstein87). JustastheOTBsweredesignedtoestablishgovernmentlegibilityinethnic communities,theprimaryfunctionoftheTalleresZonaleswastolegalizethe squattersettlementsandestablishcontrol.Inordertoreceivedevelopment assistance,eachbarriofirsthadtobecomelegal.Theprocesswasabureaucratic andlegalmaze,whichinvolvedfilingpaperworkandhiringanarchitectto standardizeindividuallots(Goldstein87).Throughthebureaucraticprocessthe squatterwastransformedintoataxpayingcitizenintheeyesofthegovernment. ThedevelopmentambitionsotheTalleresZonalesfellshortduetoalackof

elitemunicipalsupport(Goldstein83).Forthemostpart,themarginalbarrios remainedwithoutgovernmentservicesevenwiththenewlegalcitizenstatus, periurbandwellersremainedwithoutapoliticalidentity.Theonlysignificant changeintheirrelationwiththegovernmentwasthattheperiurbancitizenshad topaytaxes,includingforthecongeladoperiod(Goldstein87).Retainingtheir subalternstatus,theperiurbancitizen,asdefinedbythegovernment,was actuallyavoicelesstaxpayer.

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PartII:TheWaterWar
ThePoliticsofWater:TheHistoryofSEMAPA Inmanyways,thehistoryofSEMAPA(ServicioMunicipaldeAguaPotable

Alcantarilldo),Cochabambasmunicipalwaterservice,encapsulatestheoverarching themescharacterizingBolivianpolitics.Inthemid1960s,themunicipal government,facedwitharapidlygrowingpopulation,beganlookingforforeign assistancetoimproveitswaterservice.In1967,theInterAmericanBankgranteda fourteenmilliondollarloanthatstipulatedmunicipalownershipthecontract situatedthemayorastheheadoftheexecutiveboard(Shultz11).Fromits inception,SEMAPAandtherevenueitgeneratedwasusedasamunicipalslushfund supportingavastclientelisticnetwork.Thecompanyquicklybecamemiredin corruptionandwasconsistentlyunabletomeetthedemandsofCochabambas populationgrowth. ThemanagementofSEMAPAreflectedtheoverallinequitiesof Cochabambaspoliticallandscape;servicefavoredthewealthysectionsofthecity andwasnearlynonexistentintheimpoverishedneighborhoodsoftheSouth (Shultz12).In1999,priortothewaterwar,only57%ofthepopulationhadwater connectionsand48%hadsewage(Shultz14).A1997investigationfoundthat whilethenorthernmorewealthypartofthecityhadcloseto90%coverage,inthe South,lessthanhalfofthebarrioshadconnectionswithSEMAPA(Shultz12). Withoutwaterservice,thesecommunitieshadtoprovideforthemselves.

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ThosewhowerenotconnectedtoSEMAPAeitherobtainedwaterfromwater tankersorcommunitymanagedwells.Sincethetankerserviceswereprivately ownedandunregulated,thequalityofthewaterwasoftenlessthanadequate. SometankercompaniesdrewtheirwaterfromtheRioRocha,ahighlypollutedriver thatbisectsthecity,andminimallytreatedit,beforedeliveringittothebarrios (InterviewASICASUR). Manybarriosorganizedwatercommitteestodigwellsandlaypiping infrastructure.Inthelate1990s,therewerearound5,000to7,000independent wellsdugandmanagedprimarilybyneighborhoodwatercommittees(Shultz14). Inthesecommunities,accesstothewellwateriscontingentuponactive participationfundraising,4laborcontributionfortheconstruction5andconstant management.Inordertofacilitatetheprocess,mostcommunitieshaveformed watercommittees,whicharelocallygoverned,autonomous,democratic neighborhoodassociations.Thewatercommitteesremaindemocraticandfree fromcooptationorclientelismbecauseoftheirsmallscale:everymemberofthe communitydirectlyparticipatesinthemanagementofwater(InterviewASICASUR). InSacaba,abarriointheSouthofCochabamba,Ivisited,alocallymanagedwell, whichprovidedapproximately200familieswithtwentyfourhourservice (InterviewMario).Basedonmyinterviewsandresearch,Iestimatethatmostwater committeesmanagewaterforabout100600families.Furthermore,these 4Fundsareraisedeitherfromwithinthecommunityorbyobtainingoutsidefinancialsupportfrom
NGOsorthegovernment. 5Inmostcases,NGOsorthemunicipalgovernmentprovidethetechnicalsupportwhilethe communitycontributesthelabor.

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committeesprovidethemselveswiththeirownmaintenancefundswaterrather thanprofitistheintendedgoalofthewatercommittees. WaroftheWells:PracticefortheWaterWar Inthe1990s,thelargeaquiferbeneathCochabambaandthesurrounding areabecameapoliticized,highlycontestedresource.Politicalproblemsregarding theappropriationofwaterbeganinthe1970s;duetoclimatechangeanda mushroomingurbanpopulation,CochabambawasnolongerabletorelyonAndean runofftomeetitswaterneeds(Shultz13).Inresponsetoanacutewatershortage, thegovernmentdrilledten120meterwellsintheVintoDistrictofQuillacollo Province(aboutfifteenmilesoutsideCochabambaproper).Communitymembers protestedtheprojectoutofafearthatthedeepwellswoulddryuptheirportionof theaquiferwhichtheyreliedonforirrigation.Despitethegovernmentspromises, thesefearscametofruition. WhentheCochabambasufferedanotheracutewatershortagein1994and thegovernmentproposeddrillinginadistrictclosetoVintoasasolution, communitymembersrecalledthelessonsfromthemid1970s.Atthetime,70%of theagriculturalareassurroundingCochabambawerepermanentlyirrigatedwith muchofthewatersupplyrelyingontheaquifer(Shultz14).Muchlikethemembers oftheperiurbanwatercommittees,farmers,managedtheirirrigationsystems collectivelyinirrigatorsorganizations.Thesetightknitfederations,basedon traditionalegalitarianvalues,hadastrongmobilizationcapacity(Interview FEDECOR).Whenthegovernmentproposeddrilling,theirrigatorsorganizations politicizedandrecastthemselvesasdefensecommittees.Inspiteoforganizinga 32

10,000personmarchinAprilof1995,thedrillingwentaheadasplannedbutwas movedtomilitarylandandconstructedunderpoliceprotection(Assies20). Again,in19971998,thegovernmentproposeddrillinginresponsetoyet anotheracutewatershortage.Andagain,despiteprotests,thedrillingbeganon armyland;however,bymid1998,communityprotestorsforcedtheengineersoff thelandanddrillingstopped(Assies20).Reflectingthegovernmentsurbanbias, municipalandnationalleaderslabeledtheirrigatorscriminals(Assies20). Regardlessoftheirrigatorssmallvictory,tensionscontinued. Inresponsetocontinualgovernmentthreat,thedefensecommitteesfrom variousruralcommunitiesconsolidatedthemselvesandformedFEDECOR6 (FederacinDepartamentalCochabambinadeOrganizacionesdeRegantes).The organizationalstructureofFEDECORwasdistinctfromtheestablishedhierarchical tradeunionstructureinthatitoperatedasapoliticalforumforthevarious irrigatorsorganizationstodiscusstheissuewater,strategizeandcoordinate mobilizationsonanevenplane.FEDECORalsofacilitatedtheeducationofits members,ThroughmeetingsandworkshopsthelocalbasesofFEDECORbecame familiarwiththedebateoverwaterlegislation(Assies21). BecauseFEDECORwashorizontallystructured,theissuesunder considerationhadtobeclearlyarticulatedinordertomaintainthecohesivesupport ofthevariousirrigatorsorganizations.Beforebeingabletoengageintheprocess ofdebateandconsensusbuilding,membersfirsthadtounderstandtheissuethis requirededucation.Onceeducated,memberscollectivelydeterminedthebestplan 6CochabambaDepartmentFederationofIrrigatorsOrganizations 33

ofaction.Thus,memberactivistswereunifiednotoutofobligationbutratherbya commonunderstandingoftheissue(FEDECORinterview).Inthedevelopmentof civilsociety,thispointiscrucial. AlsoinresponsetotheWaroftheWells,theCochabambachapterofthe SocietyofBolivianEngineers(SIB)becamepoliticallyinvolvedinthewaterissue. Initially,thisgroupstaunchlysupportedthegovernmentspolicyofdrilling,butas factsmountedtheSIBchangeditsposition(Assies21).Overtime,itbecameclear thatthecostly,corruptdrillingprocess,whichhadbothnegativesocialand environmentaleffects,wasnotthismostproductivesolutiontothewatershortages. TheSIBjoinedFEDECORandwithitstechnicalexpertisehelpedprovidealternative solutionstodrilling(Assies21).Atthetime,theSIBwasoneoftheonlyurban organizationstosupporttheruralcause,FEDECORandthecalltoenddrilling (Assies21).TheSIB,aprofessionalorganization,wasalsooneofthefirstnon subalternorganizationstojointhewaterdebate. ThePrivatizationofWater ThemannerinwhichwaterwasprivatizedinCochabambaeffectively

alienatedandangeredasubstantiallywidespectrumofthepopulation.In1999,the Boliviangovernment,havingincurredmassiveamountsofdebtduringthe neoliberalreformation,wenttotheWorldBankseekingrelief(Dangl59).Usinga $600milliondollardebtreliefpackageasleverage,theWorldBankforcedthe Boliviangovernmenttoundergoyetanotherroundofstructuraladjustments,

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includingtheprivatizationofSEMAPA.7Inasupposedlyfreeandopenauctionfor theCochabambawatercontract,theWorldBank,dubiouslyonlyreceivedonebid fromtheAmericanbasedBechtel,theworldslargestconstructioncompanywith annualearningsthatnearlytripletheGDPofBolivia(Dangl61).TheBolivian governmentandAguasdeTunari(thesubsidiarycorporationownedbyBechtel) negotiatedthetermsofthecontractinsecrecyandbehindcloseddoors(Olivera8 9). Thefairlyonesidedstipulationsofthecontractdemonstrateaclear transgressionoftraditionalconceptionsofsovereignty.Thefortyyearcontract guaranteeda16%annualrateofreturnregardlessofitsperformance,and determinedpriceincreasesbasedontheU.S.consumerpriceindex(Olivera10). Furthermore,Therewasaclauseinthecontractstatingthatthecontractitself supersededanyothercontract,lawordecree(Olivera10).Essentially,thecontract privilegedBechtelsinterestsoverwellbeingoftheBolivianpeople.Theentire processwasundemocratic;and,finalizingthis,thesuperintendentofenergy,who wasnominatedbyCongressforatenyearterm,promulgatedthecontractof behalfoftheBoliviangovernment(Olivera10). InordertoprovideacomprehensivelegalframeworkfortheTunaricontract, themunicipalgovernment,beforethecontractcameintoeffect,passedWaterLaw 2029,whicheffectivelyprivatizedallwaterinCochabamba.Thelaweliminatedthe irrigatorsrighttopracticetraditionalwaterusosycostumbresthecommunal irrigationsystemsandendedtheguaranteeofwaterdistributioninruralareas 7In2002,inaninternalreport,thebanksownauditorsconfirmeditwas,infact,coercionthatset theCochabambaprivatizationinmotion(Shultz15). 35

(InterviewFEDECOR).Inbothruralandurbanregions,thewellsandpiping,that hadbeenconstructedandmaintainedbythecommunities,becamepropertyof Bechtelwithoutreimbursement.Law2029evenwentsofarastoprivatize rainwateroutlawingtheconstructionanduseofraincollectiontanks.Withno regardtothepoliticallyinvisible,governmentelites,criminalizedtraditional conceptionsofwaterandsacrificedthecountryssovereigntyinordertofacilitate, essentially,corporateAmericanprofiteeringtosaytheleast,thisinfuriatedmany Cochabambans. TheDynamicsofSocialMovementLanguage TheCochabambaWaterWarbeganinNovemberof1999immediatelythe

contractwaspromulgatedontheruralcountrysidewhereorganizations,having gainedexperienceduringtheWaroftheWells,werewellpreparedtochallengethe privatizationofwater.Irrigatorsorganizationsactingautonomouslyandalsooften incollaborationwithFEDECORorchestratedtheconstructionofroadblocksonthe majorhighwaysleadinginandoutofthecity(Shultz2008,16).Thetightknit organizationalstructureoftheirrigatorsorganizationsallowedforahighly effective,andstrategicimmobilizationofthecity.Inspiteoftheconstant dismantlingoftheroadblocksbythepolice,whousedrubberbulletsandteargasto dispersetheirrigators,theorganizationswereabletostophighwaytravelfor extendedperiodsoftime(Dangl62). Havinganestablishedbaseofknowledgeregardingwater,theirrigators

werewellawareofthefutureimplicationsoftheprivatization.Whereastheurban

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populationwaslargelyinexperiencedinregardstowaterpolitics,therural irrigatorshaddeepculturalties,whichtheyfeltinclinedtofightindefenseof.For hundredsofyears,irrigatorshadmanagedtheirwatercommunallywithtraditional usosycostumbres.However,ownershipforthissystemwasnotconsidered communal;rather,traditionalirrigatororganizationsconceiveofwaterasbelonging toPachamama(MotherEarth).InthefiveinterviewswithirrigatorsthatI conducted,withoutfail,everyone,whenspeakingabouttheWaterWar,first mentionedPachamama.Theprivatizationofwaterunderminedthelegitimacyof theirtraditionandoverallworldview. Inadditiontothesocialeffect,privatizationthreatenedtheirrigators

economicsecurity.Priortoreceivingthemonthlybill,thepresidentofFEDECOR predictedwiththeanticipatedratehikesthatbetween15,000and20,000farmers wouldbeputoutofbusiness(Assies22).Furthermore,thecontractdramatically reducedtheamountofirrigationwaterguaranteedtotheruralareas(Assies22). Clearly,WaterLaw2029andtheTunaricontractjeopardizedtheirrigators livelihoods;butitisnotpossibletodelineatebetweensocialoreconomic infringementsassignifyingtheimpetusforprotest.PoliticalanthropologistArturo Escobarwrites: Socialmovementsmustbeseenequallyandinseparablyasstruggles overmeaningsaswellasmaterialconditions,thisis,ascultural struggles.Areeconomiesnotculturalformsanyway?Dotheynot entailprofoundculturalchoices,astheanthropologyofmodernity demonstrates?CertainlyHomooeconomicusisnotaculturally neutralsubject.Materialneedsandtechnologiesarepermeated byculturalcontents.Everynewtechnologyinauguratesarituala wayofdoingthings,ofseeingtheworld,andoforganizingthesocial field.Howthen,couldwebrushasidetheconsiderationofthe culturalcontentofeconomies?(Escobar69). 37

Boththeirrigationtechnologiesoftheirrigatorsthatphysicallytransect thevariousplotsandprovidewaterforassociationoffarmersandthe spiritual/communalconceptionofwaterascommunalcreateacultureofwater.In otherwords,thesocialwatertraditionofPachamamaaswellastheeconomic livelihoodofthefarmerreflexivelyreinforcetheothertothepointwherethey cannotbeseparated. Therefore,thelanguagedevelopedintheWaterWarprotestwasfullof loadedterms.Thewordsusedinprotest,suchasPachamama,usosycostumbres, neoliberalism,Americanimperialism,lossofsovereignty,injustice,all simultaneouslycarriedeconomic,social,historical,politicalandthuscultural connotations.Forexample,irrigatorsconstruedtheculturalideaPachamamaasthe ultimatejustificationforthecommunaltraditionofwaterpractice,andtherefore, alsoastheultimatedefenseagainsttheeconomicandpoliticalinjusticesurrounding theconditionsofprivatization(InterviewFEDECOR).InthecontextoftheWater War,theculturalsignificanceofPachamamaisconcurrentlyproBoliviantradition, antiAmericanimperialism,aswellas,antigovernmentsponsoredinjustice. Inasense,thelanguageoftheWaterWarestablishedamoredefinedformof irrigatorculturebydemarcatingboundariesbetweenirrigatorcultureand unacceptablyinvasiveOtherculture.Thedevelopmentofsocialmovement languagethereforereflectstheprocessofdiscoveringandarticulatingonesown culture.ToreferagaintoArturoEscobar,

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Cultureisnotsomethingthatexistsintheabstract;itisembeddedin practices,intheeverydaylifeofpeople.Cultureis(madeof)peoples practices.Encounterswithotherswhoaredifferentfromusintensify theawarenessofourowncultureandmakeusrealizehowwethink andfeelinsomewaysratherthanothers,thatis,thatwehavea culture(Escobar70). Ontheindividuallevel,cultureisexpressedasidentity.Beforeprivatization,

intheeyesofthegovernmenttheirrigatorswerepoliticallyinvisible,butthisdid notnecessarilyaffecttheculturalidentityoftheirrigatorsbecausetheywerestill abletoengageinthedailypracticeoftheirculture.Conversely,sincetheirrigators weredeniedtherighttopracticegovernmentasapartoftheirdailylives,they derivedlittleidentityfromtheBoliviangovernmentinthepoliticalspherethatis tosay,sincetheirrigatorswereexcludedfromthepoliticalsphere,theircultural spheredeveloped,persisted,andexistedindependently.But,sinceprivatization directlyaffectedthedailypracticeoftheirrigatorsculturalidentity,this,inturn, createdanidentitybasedconflict. Inordertocounterthethreattoidentity/culture/livelihood,theirrigators

firsthadtoarticulateaconceptionofthecollectiveself.AccordingtoArturo Escobar,beforetheunifyingmovement,theidentityofindividualsandcommunities arecharacterizedbyamultiplicityofmeanings,calledthepluralityoforientations (Escobar78).Escobarwrites: Theconstructionofcollectiveidentitieshastwoaspects:the internalcomplexityoftheactor(thepluralityoforientationsthat characterizeshim),andtheactorsrelationshipwiththeenvironment (otheractors,opportunitiesandconstraints)Becauseallofthese aspectsareladenwithmeaning,actorsareleftwiththeonly possibilityofbuildingcollectiveidentitiesthroughthearticulationof meaning(Escobar78).

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Theunity,whichbindsthemembersofamovement,doesnotemerge

passively,butratheritmustbeactivelycreated.Beforethemovement,themeaning ofwords,suchaswater,variedbetweenindividualsandcommunities,anditexisted inthepassiveculturalsphere.Meaningintheculturalsphereispassivesince cultureis,aswasmentioned,peopleseverydaypracticesandthereforecultureis notexperiencedascultureratheraseverydaylife.Withinthecontextofones ownculturalenvironment,peoplearenottypicallyabletoseparatethemselvesfrom theirdailyculture.Cultureissimplyliveditisnotactivelyexpressedassuch (undernormalcircumstances).Forexample,intheculturalsphere,words,suchas water,areamorphousintheirmeaning.Culturaltraditionsandthepluralityof meaningsofwords,whichvaryfromindividualtoindividual,arepassivelyaccepted asdailylife. Whendailycultureisthreatened,meaningmovesfromthepassivecultural spheretotheactivepoliticalsphere.Immediately,outofaculturalconfrontation, onedevelopsaselfawarenessofonesowndailylife.Whathadbeenpassivelylived becomesactivelydefined.Thisprocessisprincipallyenactedthroughthecreation ofalanguageofcollectivemeanings.Thedailylife,thatwasoncecharacterized byapluralityofamorphousmeanings,iscodifiedinapoliticizedlanguage.The meaningofeachwordisdistilledtoitsculturalcommondenominatorthisgives thewordsaunifyingpower. Whilethespecificculturaltraditionsofeachcommunityvaried,theirrigators collectivelydistilledandcreatedapoliticalvocabularywithwords,suchas Pachamama,usosycostumbres,etcetera.Everypoliticizedwordofasocial

40

movementimplicitlyexpressesacollectivesentiment:toresistandovercomethe threat.Asthemovementprogresses,meaningbecomesincreasinglymorepolitical. Inotherwords,eachwordbecomesmoreexpressiveofitsimplied/intendedend.In ordertomakedemands,onehastobeabletocommunicateabasisforthedemands. Thewordsthemselvesarethusremovedfromtheirculturalcontextandfully submittedtothepoliticalsphere. Theprotestlanguagedevelopedbytheirrigatorshelpedbridgethedivide betweentheruralandurbansectorsofCochabambansociety(Dangl62).Urban protestersadoptedtheculturalbasedlanguage,whichwasmoredevelopedinthe ruralareas.BeforetheWaterWar,theuseofculturallanguage,suchasPachamama, wasnotaspredominantintheurbanpopulationsconceptionofwater;asthe movementgainedmomentum,however,theurbanprotestorsassumedamore cultural,Bolivianidentity. ConnectingtheDots:ForminganAssociationofAssociations InadditiontoFEDECOR,otherorganizationshadbecomeinvolvedinthe issueofprivatization.PuebloenMarchwasoneofthefirsturbangroupstoprotest theprivatization.Theorganizationconsistedofenvironmentalists,architects, economists,andsomeelectedofficials,who,priortotheWaterWar,hadprotested relevantissuesinthecitysmainplazaeveryTuesday(Olivera27).Asnewsofthe eminentprivatizationemerged,PuebloenMarchaacquainteditselfwiththeissue andbeganprotestingeveryTuesdayintheplaza(InterviewFEDECOR).

41

InJulyof1999,inreactiontothegovernmentsproposedplanstoprivatize SEMAPA,agroupofengineersformedtheCommitteefortheDefenseofWaterand thePopularEconomy(DefenseCommittee)8.Thecommitteeorganizedurban protestsagainsttheirpredictionsofratehikes.BeforeNovember,theextentof urbanprotests,however,waslocalizedtoprofessionalgroups. Adifferentorganization,theCivicCommittee,attemptedtodiscreditthe accuracyoftheDefenseCommitteepredictions(Assies22).Formedinthe1970s, theCivicCommitteewasoriginallybroadbasedwitharangeoforganizationsand expressedregionaldemandsagainstthecountryscorruptionauthoritarianregime; overtime,however,theorganizationhadcomeunderthecontroloflocalbusiness elitesandhadthuslostmuchofitspopularlegitimacy(Assies22).Inordertogive theprivatizationthepoliticalappearanceofhavingpopularsupport,ManfredReyes VillapublicallylegitimizedWaterLaw2029andtheTunariContractbyutilizingthe supportoftheCivicCommittee,whichgavetheprivatizationthepolitical appearanceofhavingpopularsupport.Intheplanningphasesoftheprivatization ofSEMAPA,VillaReyesexcludedtheCDWPEandincludedtheCivicCommitteeas therepresentativeofthepeoplesinterests(Assies22). IncontrasttotheCivicCommittee,theFabrileswasanurbanorganization, whichbecameasubstantialactorintheWaterWarthatactuallyrepresenteda broadportionofthepopulation.Inthe1990s,Fabrilesemergedinresponsetothe NEPinstigatedtradeunioncrisis: TheFDTFChasmaintainedapresenceinthelocalmediatoinform thepopulationaboutlaborconditionsandsoughttoorganizeunions 8ManymembersofPuebloenMarchaalsoparticipatedintheCDWPE. 42

inthesmallfactoriesandsweatshopsthatmakeuptherestructured industrialsectoreventhoughtheGeneralLaborLawprohibits unionizationwithfewerthan20workers(Assies2324). Withitsopendoorpolicyandcreativeresponsestothelaborcrisis,Fabriles hadgarneredwidespreadsupportandasignificantmoralweightinthecity (Assies24).ThoughtheFabriles,initsdefenseoftheworkers,actedasadefacto union,theorganizationwasnottraditionallystructuredasaunioninthattheitdid notcollectfeesorhaveobligatorymembership.Mostly,theorganizationhelped individualworkersfindsolutionstoworkrelatedinjustices(Olivera26). OnNovember12,afteraseriesofpreviousnegotiationsinitiatedby FEDECOR,Fabriles,theDefenseCommittee,andFEDECORcollectivelyformedthe Coordinador(CoordinadoradeDefensedelAguaydelaVida).9OscarOlivera,the presidentofFabriles,becamethepresident;OmarFernndez,thePresidentof FEDECOR,becametheVicePresident;andGabrielHerbas,thepresidentofthe DefenseCommittee,becamethegeneralsecretary. TheCoordinadoraencompassedaconglomerationofitsfounding organizationsstrengths10.ThemergerbetweenFEDECORandFabrilesunitedthe ruralandurbansubalternpopulationsoverasingleissue;inregardstothehistory ofBoliviansocialmovements,thistypeofalliancewasararity.Whereasinearlier socialmovementsthegovernmentwasabletocooptorsuppresscertainsocial sectors,witharural/urbanunification,thewidersocialbaseprovedresilientto governmentcontrol. 9CoalitioninDefenseofWaterandLife 10ItshouldbementionedthatwhiletheCoordinadorawascentralintheorchestrationoftheWater

War,manyorganizationsandassociationsoperatedindependentlyindefianceoftheprivatization. Giventhescopeofthispaper,IwillfocusontheactionsoftheCoorinadora.

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Organizationally,theCoordinadoraadoptedthecoordinatingstructurethat FEDECORhadusedduringtheWaroftheWells.Aspartofahorizontallyorganized associationofassociation,eachofthememberorganizationsretainedfullautonomy overtheiractions.ThroughouttheWaterWar,theCoordinadoraprovidedbroader strategieswhileindividualorganizationsandassociationsacted,attimes, independentlymaintainingroadblocksandorganizingneighborhoodprotests (InterviewFEDECOR)(Assies25).Also,aswasmentioned,FEDECORwasableto contributetheirrigatorculturallanguagethatithadpreviouslydeveloped,which greatlyenhancedtheCoordinadorasabilitytoarticulateitself. TheDefenseCommittee,alongwithmembersfromPuebloenMarcha, providedtheCoordinadorawiththenecessarytechnicalexpertise.TheTunari contractandWaterLaw2029wereriddledwithtechnocratjargonthatrequiredthe professionalexpertiseoflawyersandeconomiststodecipher.Intermsof articulatingpoliticaldemands,understandingtheproblemandpossiblesolutionsis critical.Also,thesupportofmiddleclassprofessionalsallowedtheCoordinadorato transcendtheclassstruggleimage. WaterWar

Whilenumerousprotestshadoccurredintheruralareasimmediatelyafter privatization,largeurbanprotestdidnotbeginuntilpeoplebeganreceivingtheir monthlybillsinDecember.HigherthanAguasdeTunarihadpromised,theaverage ratehikewas51%(43%forthepoorestusers)(Shultz19).Insomeareas,people hadtheirmonthlybillincreaseby300%(Olivera10).Inacitywithamonthly

44

minimumwageof$41dollars,thepriceincreasescouldnotbeafforded(Olivera8). NotonlydidAguasdeTunariraisetheirrates,butthecompanyalsochargedpeople formorewaterthantheywereconsuming(McKissick5).Ultimately,the unreasonablewaterbillsservedasthecatalystfortheurbanstruggle;however,the natureofthisstrugglewasnotinitsessencematerialoreconomicallybased.As wasmentionedinregardstotheirrigators,theWaterWarwasaculturalstruggle, onewhichsoughttodefendthedailylife.Thesocialcostprivatizationwasnot simplyaneconomicburdenbutanunjustculturalinfringement. OnJanuary11,theCoordinadoracollaboratedlooselywiththeCivic Committeeandorganizedanindefiniteshutownofthecityinprotestoftherate hikes.IntheearlystagesoftheWaterWar,theCivicCommitteeattemptedto appearasrepresentativeofthepeople.Thesuccessofthisprotestwaslargely dependentupontheroadblocksoftheirrigatorswhoeffectivelycutoffallhighway transportation.Aftertwentyfourhours,theCivicCommitteewithdrewitssupport ofthestrike,butthemassiveprotestcontinuedunderthedirectionofthe Coordinadora(Assies25).ThislegitimizedtheCoordinadoraintheeyesofthe governmentandtrivializedtheCivicCommitteeintheeyesofthepeople(Assies 25).Withthecityfullyimmobilized,thegovernment,havingunsuccessfullybroken themobilizationwithteargas,optedfornegotiations. TheJanuary13thnegotiationsinvolvedthemunicipalgovernment,Civic CommitteeandCoordinadora.Thegovernmentstatedthatitwouldrevisethe WaterLaw2029andtheAguasdeTunaricontract,butthatitwouldnotchangethe rates.Furthermore,thegovernmentstatedthatitwouldreviewthedemandsmade

45

bytheCoordinadorawithinthreemonths.Thegovernmentsapparentappeasement wasmerelyanattempttooutlastanddissolvetheCoordinadora:Thegovernments negotiatingtacticatthisstagewastotrytostrikeadealwiththeCivicCommittee, marginalizetheCoordinadora,andmaintainanappropriatelevelofsecurityfor investment(McKissick6). Soonafterthenegotiations,thearrivalof1000heavilyarmedDalmatians, theequivalentofBolivianspecialforces,revealedthegovernmentstrueintentions (Shultz19).Reminiscentoftheauthoritarianyears,PresidentHugoBanzer,who hadbeendemocraticallyallowedtoreturntopower,gavetheordertosendthe Dalmatians. Inspiteofthegovernmentsattempttoendtheprotestswithempty promisesandincreasedrepression,thedemonstrationsandroadblocksnotonly continuedbutalsointensified.TheCocaleros,cocagrowersfromtheChapare,who hadextensiveprotestexperiencestrugglingagainstantinarcoticsmissions,joined themovement.Inresponsetoincreasedpressure,thegovernmentmadeasecond attemptatappeasementandstatedthatitwouldfreezetheratehikesat20% (Assies25).Protestorsdidnotheedtothisconcessionanddemonstrationsonly intensified. After70civiliansand51policemenwerewoundedand172arrests,the CatholicChurcharrangedforanadditionalroundofnegotiations(McKissick6).On February6th,thegovernmentsignedadealwhichincludedthecreationofa committeetostudythewaterrates,arevisionofthewaterrates,aproposalfora generalwaterlaw,whichwouldrespectruralcommunitytraditions,andthe

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revisionofWaterLaw2029within45days(Assies25).Again,through appeasementthegovernmentattemptedtomarginalizetheCoordinadora. Inordertoassessthepoliticalwillofthepeopleaswellasmaintainthe cohesionofthemovement,inearlyMarchtheCoordinadoraheldapublic referendum(ConsultaPopular)completelyindependentofthestate.Inpreparation forthereferendum,forthreedaysactivistsfirstsetupworkshopsinruraland urbancommunitiestoeducatethepeopleaboutthecomplexitiesoftheissue.More than50,000people,onetenththeelectorate,willinglyparticipatedintheConsulta Popular,whichinturnestablishedthat90%ofthepopulationwasinfavorof cancellingtheTunaricontract(Assies27)(Shultz26).TheConsultaPopularhelped legitimizetheCoordinadorabothfromaninternalandexternalperspective;inthat, itdemonstratedthattheCoordinadorawascommittedtothepeoplesinterestsand thattheCoordinadorahadconsolidatedaconsiderableamountofpopularsupport. WhiletheCivicCommittee,whichclaimedtorepresentthepeople,wasmaking dealswithManfredReyesVillaandthemunicipalgovernment,theCoordinadora establisheditselfastheexecutivevoiceofthemovement(McKissick6). InlateMarch,frustratedwiththegovernmentsinaction,theCoordinadora demandedareturntonegotiationsbyApril4thandthreatenedtoorganizeanother massprotest.Meanwhile,operatingindependently,otherorganizations,suchasthe ConferacinSindicalnicadeTrabajadoresCampesinosdeBolivia(CSUTCB)11 beganroadblockinghighwaysallaroundthecountryandmadeitsownsetof

11UnitaryUnionConfederationofBolivianPeasantWorkers 47

demands.FEDECORalsomaintaineditshighwayroadblocksontheoutskirtsofthe city(Assies26). ThegovernmentandtheCivicCommitteecongratulatedthemselves ontheseemingimpotenceandisolationoftheCoordinadora. Galindo12statedthatthereisnothingtonegotiate.Onthenextday, April5,however,thousandsofCochabambinos,amongthemavariety ofwatercommitteesaswellsastheheavytransportworkersunion anddelegationsfromtheruralareas,filledthePlaza14de Septiembre(Assies28). Atthispoint,thousandsofactivists,representingmanyorganizations, converged,andtheCoordinadoradidnothavefullcontrol.Thepoliceshadbeen orderedtostanddown,ratherthanantagonizethecrowd,andsotheactivistsno longerhadavisibleenemytounifyagainst(Dangl65).Realizingthepotentialfor spontaneoussocialcombustion,theCoordinadoraorganizedasetofmeetingsand assembliestoonceagaingaugethewillofthepeopleinamediatedmanner. TheCoordinadoraarrangedthreelevelsofpublicdeliberations.Thefirst leveloperatedasatownhallassemblyandenableddirectcommunityparticipation. Workerorganizationandneighborhoodorganizations,suchaswatercommittees, formedassemblieswithintheirparticularsectors,forexampletheirrigation farmersassembly.Withinthesecommunitylevelassemblies,allmembershadthe opportunitytopersonallyvoicetheiropinionsandparticipateinthepolitical process(Olivera37).Eachassemblyafterreachingconsensusthensentadelegate tothenextlevelofmeetingstheCoordinadoraassemblies. IntheCoordinadoraAssemblies,informalrepresentativefromeachsector wereonlyallowedtospeakonthebehalfoftheirsector.Additionally,inorderto 12ThePrefectoftheDepartmentofCochabamba 48

speakandbeheardatthesemeetings,communitieshadtohavedemonstrateda commitmenttoaction(i.e.roadblocks)(Dangl65).TheseCoordinadoraAssemblies werewherethecommuniquswerewrittenandstrategicanalysistookplace (Olivera38).GiventheorganizationalstructureoftheCoordinadora(an associationofassociations),communitiesandorganizationswerenotonlyinvitedto butalsonecessaryinthestrategicplanningofthemovement. Transitioningtothethirdlevel,leadersoftheCoordinadoratookthemost importantstrategicquestionstothecabildotownmeeting.Theactivistgathering involvedbetweenfiftyandseventythousandpeople,whorespondedtothe Coordinadorasvariousproposalsthroughcollectivesentiment.OnApril5, Coordinadoraleadersproposedtogivethegovernmenttwentyfourhoursto abrogatetheTunaricontract.Unwillingtowait,thecrowddeclinedand subsequentlymarchedtoandpeacefullyoccupiedtheAguasdeTunarioffice.In effect,theCoordinadorawasunabletochanneltheenergyofthecabildotowardits owngoals. DemandingtheannulmentoftheTunaricontractandtherevisionofWater

Law2029,massivecrowdsoccupiedthemainplazaonboththe6thandthe7thof April.Conflictintensifiedwhenthepolicebeganarrestingorganizationleaders.On April8,PresidentHugoBanzerdeclaredaninetydaystateofsiege.National governmentofficialsjustifiedthesiegesayingthatdrugtraffickerswereresponsible forthedisorder.Telltailsignspointedtoaneminentmassacre.Thenew developmenthadinflamedpeopleallaroundthecountryandcountrywideprotests increased(Assies29).Themilitaryevenwentsofarastocuttheelectricityofnew

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stationstopreventthedisseminationoftheprotest(Assies29).Thatday,aftera snipershotandkilled17yearoldHugoDaza,themovementhadintensifiedand wasbeyondthegovernmentscontrol. ByApril9,thegovernmentofficiallyannouncedtheterminationoftheTunari

contract.Thenextday,anagreementbetweenthegovernmentandthe CoordinadorareinstatedSEMAPAwithfullmunicipalownership.AndbyApril11, WaterLaw2029wasrescindedandreplacedbyLaw2066,proclaimedbyBanzer, whichcontainedthirtyarticles.Themainpointsof2066involved(1)the possibilityofcreatinganationalwatercouncilwasleftopen;(2)insteadoffiveyear licensespeasantsandindigenousorganizationsnowhadtoregisteronlyforthe usefullifeofservice;(3)inconcessionareastheconcessionaireswouldnothave monopolyrightsandwatercommittees,cooperatives,andotherusosycostumbres wouldberecognized;and(4)ratestructuresweretobeestablishedinconsultation withthemunicipalitiesandthelocalunitsofPopularParticipation(Assies30).In essence,thegovernmentfullyrecognizedthepoliticaldemandsoftheWaterWar socialmovement.

PartIII:Analysis
HistoricRebellion:FromSubalterntoCitizen Citizenshipisaquestionofsovereigntythatistosay,aquestionofcontrol overlaw.MichaelOakeshottwrites: Incivilassociationthevalidityofalawliesneitherinthewisdomof theconditionsitimposesuponconduct,noreveninitspropensityto promotepeace,butinitsbeingthecommandofthesovereignand

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(althoughthisisobscure)initsbeingeffectivelyenforced(Oakeshott 262). Duringthecolonialperiod,theSpanisholigarchywasthesovereign.The

lawsdecreedbytheSpanishweredesignedtoprotectandfacilitatetheirinterests, whichwereprimarilyconcernedwiththeexploitationoftheindigenouspopulation. Thedualrepublicsystemofgovernancedefinitivelydemarcatedthedivision betweenthesovereignandtheindigenoussubaltern.WithintheSpanishpolitical sphere,indigenousparticipationwaslegallyimpossibleandtherefore,the subalternwascompletelydeniedasovereignstatus. Intermsofpoliticalidentity,theSpanishimposedaunitaryidentity,based

onraceandeconomicobjectification,uponthesubaltern.Legalizedinthedual republic,asingularpoliticalidentityencompassedtheentiresubaltern:Indian savage/slave.Therewerenodelineationsbetweenthevariousformsofeconomic objectifications(i.e.noformaldivisionoflabor).TheSpanishextractedthetypeof laborfromasinglesubalternpool(usingthecariazgosystem)whenitneededit(i.e. toworkinthemines). Althoughthesubalternwasunifiedinitsobjectifiedidentity,thisdidnot correlatewithactualsubalternunity.TheSpanishmaintainedphysicalsubaltern divisionsusingthecariazgosystem,whichineffectisolatedcommunities.Atthis point,thesecommunitieshadnobasisforthecollectivearticulationofacommon demand.Theculturalidentities,atthistime,remainedgroundedinprecolonial indigenoustradition,and,asidefromtheSpanishexploitation,therewasnothingto linkthevariousindigenouscommunities.Thus,atthispoint,therewasnocommon senseofselfinwhichtobaseacommondemand.Furthermore,giventheseverityof 51

theSpanishexploitation,alliancesbetweencariazgocommunitiesweredifficultto arrange. Theentireweightofthesovereignpusheddownuponthesubalternleaving noroomforthesubalterntoorganizewithintheresistancesphere.Idefinethe resistancesphereasthesocialspacewherethesubalterncanorganizeandresist thesovereign.Indiagram1,theSpanishsovereigndirectlyexertsitsforceonthe subaltern.Thehegemonicsovereignwasprincipallyconcernedwiththe exploitationthesubaltern,andthesubalternhadnomeansofpushingback.Inthis period,therewasnospaceforthesubalterntoresist. DuringtheRepublicanperiod,theBoliviancriollooligarchywasthe sovereign.InordertocreateaunifiedBoliviannationstate,therepublicansended thedualrepublicsystem,andincorporatedthesubalternintothesamelegal frameworkasthesovereign.DespitethenominaluniversalityofBolivianrights,the sovereignlegalsystem,throughitsspecificationsforcitizenship(ex.voting requirements),nonethelessexcludedthesubalternfromparticipatinginthe politicalsphere. InthenewBolivianstate,thesovereignmodifiedthepoliticalidentityofthe subaltern.Theeliminationofthecariazgosysteminturnfacilitatedthecreationof aformalizeddivisionoflaborthatcouldmeettheneedsofacapitalizingworld.In ordertoincreasesovereigncontrolandeconomicefficiency,thesovereign standardizedthesubalternidentitybyeliminatingcommunityselfgovernanceand byrequiringculturalhomogenization,suchaslearningSpanish.Thesovereignno longerrecognizedthesubalternasIndiansbutratherasBolivianothers.This

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newpoliticalidentityretainedeconomicobjectificationasitscore.Thesovereign maintaineditsexploitivepracticesbydenyingtheBolivianotherrights(see diagram2). Inregardstotheculturalidentityofthesubaltern,theBolivianother politicalidentitydidhaveaunifyingeffect.Intherepublicanperiod,inadditionto thecollectiveexperienceofexploitation,thesubalternsharedanationality.Also, becauseofthedivisionoflabor,thesubalternbegantounifywithinvarious economicsectors.Thecaraizgocommunity,oncethecenteroftheculturalidentity, wasreplacedbylargepeasantandminerorganizations. Outsidetherepublicansovereign,thesubalternhadincreasedspacefor resistance(seediagram3).UnliketheSpanishsovereign,whichdirectlyexploited thesubaltern,therepublicansovereignindirectlyfacilitatedtheprivatized exploitationofthesovereign.Whileconditionsremainedharsh,thesovereign playedalessactive,oppressiveroleintheexploitationprocess(ex.suppressing strikes).Thisgavethesubalterntheopportunitytoorganize. Withintheresistancesphere,thesubalternarticulateditselfintheeconomic sectors.Largepeasantandminerorganizationsmadedemandsforbetterworking conditionsandrights.Inthissense,thesubalternidentitywithintheresistance spherewasprimarilyeconomicallybased.AftertheChacoWar,partsofthe subaltern,especiallytheveterans,didincorporatenationalismintotheiridentity, butbyandlarge,resistanceidentitywasgroundedintheeconomicsectors.The formationoftheseidentitiesindicatestheexistenceofpoliticalidentityspace betweenthesovereignandthesubalternsincethesovereigndidnotdirectly

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controltheexploitationandthusidentityofthesubaltern,thesubalternhadroom (theability)toorganizeamovementintheresistancesphere.Forthisreason,the subalternwaseffectiveintheRevolutionof1952. Intheyearsimmediatelyfollowingtherevolution,thesubalternandtheMNR

oligarchywereessentiallyone,andyettherewasnosovereign.Thevarioussectoral groups,whichweredivided,andtheMNRoligarchyeachhadtheirownagendaboth whenfightingandinpower.Thesectoralgroupssoughttoadvancetheirparticular sectors,andtheMNRoligarchysoughttoconsolidateitspower.Atthispoint,each groupinvolvedwasdefactosovereignbutonlyinanextremelylimitedsenseover thelawsregulatingtheirownsector.Becausethesovereigntywasdivided,there wasnoinstitutionalized,allinclusivenotionofsovereignty,whichwouldhave transformedthesubalternintocitizens. Thus,intheseearlyyearsaftertherevolution,thegovernment,asan

institution,wasnotsovereignbutrathertheindividualactorsingovernment(see diagram4).Tocounterthechaosofthis,theMNRoligarchydistancedthe subalternsdirectinfluenceandconsolidatedsovereignpower.TheMNRoligarchy usedclientelismtomanagethesubalternsectordemands.Thesubalternwas separatedandisolatedwithinthesectorsbythematerialconcessions;thisfurther preventedatrueimmaterialparticipationandcontestationascitizens. Thisperiodcementedthesubalternpoliticalidentityaseitherpeasantsor

sindicalistas.Outsideoftheseidentities,thesubalternwasinvisible;insidethese identitiesthesubalternhadtheopportunitytowingovernmentconcessions. Subalternfragmentationwasthemostsignificantdrawbacktothispoliticalidentity.

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WhilethesubalternhadpoliticalspacetoresisttheMNRoligarchy,theresistance wasneverunifiedbyacommonvision.JustastheMNRoligarchyobjectively identifiedthesubalterninthepoliticalsphereasworkerunionists,intheresistance sphere,thesubalternconceivedoftheirresistanceidentitiesasworkerunionists. Asseenindiagram5,intheMNRperiod,thereweremultipleresistancespheres thatexistedoutsidethedirectcontroloftheMNRoligarchy.Ultimately,thisledto thedeepeningoffactionallinesandtheradicalizationofdemands,which,inturn, ledtothedownfalloftheMNRgovernment. Inthecounterrevolutionperiodfrom1964to1982,thedictatorships

reestablishedahegemonicoligarchicsovereign;thisprocessinvolvedincreasingthe politicalspacebetweenthepoliticalsphereandtheresistancespheres.Atfirst, undertheBarrientosregime,thesovereignmanipulatedandturnedthesubaltern sectoralresistancespheresagainstthemselves(i.e.peasantsvs.miners)(see diagram6).Oncetheresistancesphereoftheminerswasdecreased,thesovereign wasabletominimizetheinfluenceofthepeasantunions.Eventhoughthe sovereigndisempoweredthesubalterndirectinfluenceongovernment,the subalternretainedsomeofitssovereigntywithinitsownsector. Thepoderdualdynamicwascharacterizedbytheinterplaybetweenthe

sovereignandtheresistanceofthesubaltern.Thesovereigndidnothavethepower tocompletelyeliminatetheresistancespheresofthesubaltern,andthesubaltern didnothavetheunifiedpowertoaccessthepoliticalsphere,butitdidhavethe powertopressurethesovereign.Indiagram7,theresistanceandsovereign politicalspheresareseparate,andthecentralsovereignpreservestheirdivisions.

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NeoliberalismandtheNEPeconomicreformsof1985dissolvedthe

resistancespheres.Therestructuringoflaborlawsalongwiththecollapseofthe miningindustryatomizedthesubalternworker.Becausethesubalternhad articulateditselfineconomictermsintheresistancesphere,aftertheneoliberal reforms,theresistancespheresdissipatedconcurrentlywiththeunions.This markedtheendofthepoderdual,aswellas,thesubalternabilitytopressurethe politicalsphere.Indiagram8,thesovereignhasconsolidatedhegemonicpower andfragmentedallformsofsubalternresistanceorganization. Havingeliminatedtheresistancesphere,thesovereignnolongerhada

meansofdirectlycontrollingthesubaltern.Whenthereisaresistancesphere,itis easyforthesovereigntoidentifyandthusoppresstheparticulargroupof subalterns.Withouttheresistancespheres,thesovereignhadnomeansofcreating anobjectifiedidentity,whichwouldallowthesovereigntocontrolthesubalternby preventingtheemergenceofnewresistancespheres. Indirectly,thesovereigncontrolledthesubalternvianeoliberalism.

Subalternworkerrightsandorganizationswereeithernonexistentorpowerless.In thissense,thedirectcontrolofthesubaltern,whichwasindirectlysupportedbythe sovereign,wasinthehandsoftheprivatebusinesssphere. Inordertomoredirectlycontrolthesubaltern,thesovereigninitiated

multiculturaldecentralization.TheLPPattemptedtoobjectivelydefinethe subalternsrelationtothesovereign,inthatitchanneledpoliticalactivismaway fromthesovereignintotheOTBs(seediagram9).TheOTBs,whichhadbeen designedbygovernmenttechnocrats,allowedonlyalimitedamountofparticipation

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andcontestation,butdidnotgivethesubalternaccesstoactualsovereigndecision making.WhiletheOTBsprovidedapoliticaldistraction,thesovereigncontinued implementinglawsreflectingitsneoliberalinterestsatthenationallevel.Because

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theOTBsbecamemiredbycorruption,theylosttheirlegitimacyintheeyesofthe subaltern,andthustheintendedoutcomeoftheOTBswasneverfullyrealized. ThesuccessoftheWaterWarresultedfromtheunificationofsmall

resistancespheres.Groups,suchasFabriles,FEDECOR,watercommittees, neighborhoodassociations,smallprofessionalassociations,developed autonomouslyinalimitedpoliticalspacethatwasnotdirectlyorindirectly oppressedbythesovereign.Giventheirsmallsize,thegroupswereinvisibleinthe politicalsphere,andwerethusabletoevadethesovereign.Forexample,water committeesdevelopedinneighborhoodsasameanstoprovidethecommunitywith water.Thesovereigndidnotinhibitthistypeoforganizationasitwasseenas necessarytothesurvivalofthesubaltern.Togiveanotherexample,thesovereign didnotdirectlysuppressFabrilesbecause,byandlarge,theorganizationnever garneredsufficientsubalternsupporttoactuallyposeathreattothesovereign.In thecaseofFEDECOR,whilethesovereigndidsuppressFEDECORintheWarofthe Wells,itdidnotdismantletheirrigatorsassociations,whichconstitutedthetrue coreofFEDECOR. Largely,thesegroupsfirstorganizedasameanstomeetspecific,localneeds andthuswereinseparablefromthecommunitiesinwhichtheyoperated.The resistanceidentitieswithineachofthesegroupswasnoteconomicallybased,aswas thecasewithpreviousresistancegroups,butprimarilylocallybased.Whereas institutionalizedandhierarchicalunionswereeasilysubduedwithforceandco optation,communityorganizations,whichhaddemocraticinternalstructures,were abletoresistthesovereignstraditionaltactics.

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Individually,theresistancesphereswereunabletoeffectivelypressurethe sovereign;however,collectively,whenunifiedbythepublicgood,theseresistance spheresactuallybecamethesovereign.TheimplementationoftheWaterLaw2029 andtheTunaricontractdirectlythreatenedthelivelihoodsoftheentire Cochabambasubalternpopulation.Thenatureofthisthreatfirstaffectedthe particulargroups(irrigators,workers,watercommittees)passiveculturalsphere. Intheculturalsphere,theissueofwaterismaterialinitssignificancetothe community.Forexample,water,fortheirrigators,wasessentialtotheirsurvivalas irrigators. Intheprocessoftransmutingwaterfromthepassiveculturalspheretothe

activeresistancesphere,watertransformedfromthematerialtotheimmaterial. Whilethematerialsignificanceofwaterdifferedineachsubalterngroup,the immaterialsignificancewasuniversal:inallcommunitiesandorganizations,just accesstowaterwasessential.Thus,thepublicgoodisthecollectivearticulationin theresistancesphereoftheimmaterialessential. Theoligarchicsovereign,despiteitsmanyattempts,wasunabletomaterially

placateorforcefullyoppressthedemandsofthesubalternresistancespheres. Ironically,theatomization,thatwastheproductoftheneoliberalperiod,facilitated thearticulationofthepublicgood.Hypothetically,hadthereonlybeenafewlarge unionorganizationsmakingademandforwater,thesovereigncouldhaveeasily suppressedorcooptedinthegroupswithpatronage.ButinthecaseoftheWater War,theentireatomicsubalternwasunifiedbyanimmaterialdemandthatcould notbeboughtoff.

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Throughthearticulationofthepublicgoodandthesubsequent

immobilizationofcityofCochabamba,thesubalternbecamesovereignoverwater. Theoligarchicsovereignlostitscontroloverthesovereigntyofwaterwhenitlost controloverthesubaltern.Throughthestrikesandmassprotests,thesubaltern gainedhegemoniccontroloverwater. Atthispoint,itisnecessarytoreexaminethedemographicsoftheoligarchic

sovereignandthesubaltern.BecausetheWorldBankcoercedtheBolivian sovereignintoprivatizingwater,theBolivianoligarchicsovereigndefacto surrendereditssovereignty.WhilemembersoftheBolivianoligarchicsovereign stillbenefittedfromtheTunaricontract,thecontract,andthusBechtel,heldthatit wastheultimatesovereignwhenitcametotheissueofwater.Thestipulation guaranteeing16%returnsregardlessofperformanceperfectlyillustratesthispoint. Ineffect,theentireBolivianpopulationwasplacedintoasubalternpositionbythe exploitivecontract.Forthisreason,manyBoliviansinboththeupperandmiddle classjoinedthetraditionalsubalterninthefightforsovereignty. ThepassingofWaterLaw2026,whichreplacedWaterLaw2029,

transformedthesubalternintocitizens.Afterexpellingtheoligarchicsovereign (Bechtel),thesubaltern,representedbytheCoordinadora,cementeditssovereignty intheformoflaw.Thehegemonicprotectionofthislawisnotmaintainedbythe oligarchicgovernment13butratherbythecitizens,whowereoncethesubaltern.It isreasonabletosaythatwaterwillneveragainbeprivatizedinCochabambanot

13Here,Iuseoligarchicgovernmentinsteadofoligarchicsovereignbecausetheoligarchic governmentisnolongersovereignoverwater. 60

simplybecauseoftheexistenceofalaw,butbecauseoftheexistenceofasovereign defenderofthepublicgood. TheWaterWartransformedthesubalternintocitizens.Law2026endedthe

exploitiveuseofpower,andnowthepeoplenotanoligarchyholdsovereignty overwater.Citizenshipisdefinedastheabsenceofasubaltern;inotherwords, citizenshipnecessitatesuniversality.Concerningthecontemporarypoliticsofwater inCochabamba,allpersonsarepoliticallyvisible,inthatallCochabambanscan participateandcontesttheissueofwaterinthepoliticalsphere.SincetheWater War,theoligarchy,withoutitsexclusivehegemonicforce,hasnotbeenableto significantlyexcludeanyCochabambansviarepressionorcooptationeveryoneis sovereignandthuspoliticallyonanequalplane(seediagram10).

Inregardstothepoliticsofwater,althoughcitizenshiphasbeenestablished,

thisdoesnotmeanthatissueofwatermanagementhasbeensolved.Infact,in manyways,therealwaterwarhasonlyjustbegun.Questionsovermanagement, service,ownership,anddevelopmentremainunsettled.ShouldSEMAPAbesocially orpublicallyowned?HowcanSEMAPAmoredemocraticallyrepresentthewillof thepeople?Howandtowhatdegreeshouldthepublicbeabletoparticipateand

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conteststrictlytechnicalissues?Inwhatwaysshouldservicebeextended?How shouldSEMAPAintegrateautonomouswatercommittees?(Aguilar62)Howcan theinstitutionaltransparencybeincreasedinordertopreventcorruption? Currentlyindividualcitizensandcitizenorganizationsactivelyand

competitivelyareaddressingthesequestions.Ononeendofthepoliticalspectrum, governmentelitesareattemptingtoreestablishinstitutionalcontroloverSEMAPA. Giventheirexperience,resourcesandclientelisticconnectionsingovernment,the eliteshavehadsuccess.TravisDriessenwrites: Themayor,reinforcedbyhistechnocraticstaff,hasusedthisofficeto constructpoliticalcampaignstoconsolidatehiselectoralsupportwith OTBpresidentsbyofferingthemaccesstoserviceprovisions (Dreissen4). Usingtheirpoliticaladvantages,theelitesatthispointhavepreventeda

majorsocialoverhaulofSEMAPA;theireffortsandinterests,however,havenot goneunchecked.In2007,theCitizenDirectors(CDs),anelectedcivilianoversight bodythatsitsontheSEMAPAboardofdirectors,revealedthatonemilliondollars hadbeenlosttocorruption(Dreissen5).Asaresult,theexecutivedirectorwas forcedtoresign. Inadditiontocurtailingtheeliteagenda,citizenshavecontinuedthe

democratizationofSEMAPA.Groups,suchastheCoordinadora,haveworkedto changetheinstitutionalstructureofSEMAPAsbureaucracyandhaveadvocatedthe decentralizationofdevelopmentprojects.TravisDriessenwrites: Astheseprogressiveactorsarduouslychipawayattheformidable powerstructureandstrengthentheircapacitiesintheprocess,their goalsforthesocialappropriationofthecompanystillappeartobe achievable(Dreissen5). 62

Perhaps,thegreatestchallengetotheprogressivecitizensisreachinga consensus.EvenimmediatelyaftertheWaterWar,theCoordinadorawasinternally fracturedoverwhatreformstopursue.Groupsweresplitbetweensupporting socialorpublicownership.Thisdivision,likemanyother,haspreventedtherapid advancementoftheprogressiveagenda. InthewakeoftheWaterWar,theunityofdirectionhasdissipated.The

futureofwaterinCochabambaisnowinthehandsofCochabambancivilsociety. Bothprogressiveandconservativegroupsarecompetitivelyengagedintheprocess ofdeterminingthedetailsofhowthepublicgoodshouldbemanaged.Asofnow,it istrulydifficulttodefinitelysaywhichsideiswinning.Inmanyrespects,the competitivenatureofthewaterissueishelpingtoestablishatraditionofactive engagement(viaactiveparticipationandcontestation)ofthecitizen. Inspiteofthehotlydebate,waterpoliticsinCochabambahasnotspunoutof

control.Thisisbecauseboththeconservativesandtheprogressiveengagetheissue withintheparametersofthepublicgood.Ifwaterservicedoesnotremainjust,the sovereignwillreassertitself.ThisdistinguishestheWaterWarfromtheRevolution of1952.DuringtheRevolutionof1952,thesubalternneverarticulatedapublic good;eachsubalternactorhaditsownsenseofthegood,andthis,inturn,ledto politicalpandemonium.TheWaterWaravoidedthischaos,inthat,itwasguidedby acommonvision.Inthissense,thepublicgoodcontainedandregulatedtherange ofpoliticalactivism;thisisnecessaryconditionforagenuinecitizenbasedcivil society.

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CompletingCitizenship ThecitizenshipthatarosefromtheWaterWarislimitedinitsscope.Since

thesubalternestablisheditselfassovereignoverwater,citizenshipisonly applicabletoissuesconcerningwater.Inrespecttootherissues,suchaslabor rights,manyBoliviansremainpoliticallyinvisible,assubalterns.Anoligarchic sovereigncontinuestodominatemuchofthepoliticalsphere,thusperpetuating exploitationandsubalternity. However,theWaterWardidcreateaboundary,guardedbythecitizenand

thepublicgoodthattheoligarchicsovereigncannottransgress.Inotherwords,the outcomeoftheWaterWarestablishedalimitonthereachoftheoligarchic sovereignsincethepeople,ascitizens,aresovereignoverthepoliticsofwater. ThecontemporaryBolivianpoliticalsystemcontainstwodistinctconcentric

politicalspheres.Theoligarchicsovereigngovernswithinthecentralsphere;their interestsaremaintainedbytheexclusionandsubordinationofthesubaltern.The oligarchicsphereexertsanoutwardpressuretopreventthesubalternfrom entering. Encirclingtheoligarchicsphere,thecitizenspheredemarcatesthelimitsof

theoligarchicsovereignsreach.Thecitizensphereexertsaninwardpressureon theoligarchicsphere.Thesuccessfularticulationofthepublicgoodinstillsanotion ofpoliticalrights.Subalterns,whoexperiencetheempowermentoftheirlimited citizenship,seektoadvancetheirpoliticalrightsinotherareaswheretheyare suppressed.

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Ifmultiplepublicgoodsarecollectivelyandsuccessfullyarticulatedand

established,thecitizensphereexpandswiththeseincreasesinsovereignty. Citizenshipiscompletedonlywhenthecitizensphereovertakestheoligarchic sovereignthatistosay,whenthecitizenbecomesfullysovereign,freefrom exploitationandpoliticalinvisibility.Atthisfinalstage,thepoliticalsphereis universal,andthecitizenscollectivelyupholdthesovereigntyofitslaws. TheWaterWarpromptedanationalmovementtowardtheadvancementof

theBoliviancitizen.In2003,inresponsetoaoligarchicgasexportationplan,across thecountry,theBoliviansubalternroseupinprotest.Intheend,aftermass proteststhatimmobilizedthecountry,theplanwascanceled,PresidentLozadawas oustedfrompower,andthenationalizationofthegasindustrybecamepartofthe publicgood. InMarch2005,EvoMoralesbecameBoliviasfirstpresidentofindigenous

ancestry.Sincehiselection,Moraleshaspassedanumberoflawsandconstitutional reformsthatreflectanintenttoendsubalternity.Incertainregions,however,these lawshavenotbeenfullyenforced,demonstratingthattheMoralesadministrationis notfullyincontrolofthepoliticalsphere.Regardless,afterfivehundredyearsof subjugation,theascensionofanindigenousleadertothepresidencyhashad momentoussymboliceffectontheonceinvisibleindigenouspopulation.Whilein Bolivia,IaskedastudentifhethoughtMoraleswasapopulist,heresponded,The movementwillgoonwithorwithouthermanoEvo.

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