01-04-2021 Latin American Weekly Report
Uruguay’s Lacalle Pou ignites Mercosur tensions in virtual summit
Ecuador was most recently in the global spotlight for the decision by the government of President Rafael Correa to permit drilling for oil in the Yasuní biosphere reserve, ditching a flagship proposal to leave it untapped in exchange for financial contributions. At issue now is control over an even more precious resource – water. After six long years the ruling Alianza País (AP) has used its recently obtained majority in the national assembly to approve a ‘water law’, which has fuelled indigenous unrest. Protesters marched on Quito last week arguing that the new law centralises control over water to the detriment of local communities as the central government will prioritise the needs of extractive industries. The Correa administration says the law will help to manage water use responsibly and efficiently.
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