Water activists plan a march today against private hydro projects

Protestors are calling for a national movement to ensure that water resources are focused on the communities they flow through and not for private firms

Representatives of more than 23 community-based committees across Costa Rica are coordinating a march today at 11 a.m. The group of students, environmental organizations and other social activists will rally at the Secretaría Técnica Nacional Ambiental in Barrio Escalante before they march to the Asamblea Legislativa. On the boulevard outside the Asamblea they will meet with legislatures while participating in informative cultural activities, they said.

The complaints stem from a possible expansion of hydroelectric projects according to a bill on the legislative docket. If the Ley de Contingencia Eléctrica is passed by legislatures, private electric companies would be able sell and export electricity to other countries.

With 60 private hydroelectric projects now in place, there is some pressure on the monopoly of state-owned Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad. The community protestors are demanding that reforms be made to assure water to the public domain and keep it from the hands of private enterprises.

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