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Mexico stalls on polemic bill that critics say would privatize water

March 13, 2015
Environmentalists say the proposed bill would offer little protection against pollution of Mexico's water supply.

Environmentalists say the proposed bill would offer little protection against pollution of Mexico’s water supply.

After intense pressure from civil society, Mexico’s Congress has suspended discussion of a controversial bill that academics and NGOs say would effectively privatize the administration and distribution of water in the country.

Last week, Mexico’s lower house, the Chamber of Deputies, agreed to take the proposed General Water Law off the legislative agenda “until further notice” due to disagreement over the implications of the polemic bill.

Manlio Beltrones of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which proposed the new law, explained that the delay will be “for whatever time is necessary so that doubts and misinformation that certain politicians have taken up as their campaign, can be cleared up.”

Lawmakers from the PRI, its allies in the Green Party (PVEM), and the right-wing opposition National Action Party (PAN), had approved the bill at committee stage, but a coalition of leftist legislators then raised concerns that it would hand control of Mexico’s water supply over to the mining, energy and other corporate sectors.

Civil organizations and NGOs have asked lawmakers to reject the bill, with the Coalition of Mexican Organizations for the Right to Water slamming it as “unsustainable, unfair and discriminatory.”

Several environmental organizations have argued that the bill provides only the most minimal protection against the pollution of Mexico’s water supply, as well as enabling privatization of the resource and the use of water in fracking to extract shale gas…

Click here to read this article in full at Latin Correspondent.

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