If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

January Interviews
1/1 Sherry Harris, Sell Low, Sweet Harriet
1/8 Barbara Ross, Sealed Off
1/15 Libby Klein, Theater Nights Are Murder
1/22 Carol Pouliot, Doorway To Murder
1/29 Julia Buckley, Death with A Dark Red Rose

Saturday Guest Bloggers:
1/4 Lisa Lieberman
1/11 Karen McCarthy
1/18 Trey Baker

WWK Bloggers: 1/25 Kait Carson, 1/30 E. B. Davis


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Don't miss Shari Randall's "The Queen of Christmas" available on at Amazon. Shari's holiday story for WWK was too long so she published it for our enjoyment. It's available for 99 cents or on Kindle Unlimited for free!

KM Rockwood's "The Society" and "To Die A Free Man; the Story of Joseph Bowers" are included in the BOULD Awards Anthology, which was released on November 19. KM won second place with a cash prize for "The Society." Congratulations, KM! Kaye George's "Meeting on the Funicular" is also in this anthology, which can be bought for 99 cents on Kindle until November 30.

Paula Gail Benson's story "Wisest, Swiftest, Kindest" appears in Love in the Lowcountry an anthology by the Lowcountry Romance Writers available 11/5 in e-book and print format on Amazon. The anthology includes fourteen stories all based in Charleston, South Carolina.

Kaye George's "Grist for the Mill" was published in A Murder of Crows anthology, edited by Sandra Murphy on October 9th.

Lyrical Press will publish Kaye George's Vintage Sweets mystery series. The first book, Revenge Is Sweet, will be released in March. Look for the interview here on 3/11.

Shari Randall will be writing again for St. Martin's, perhaps under a pseudonym. We look forward to reading Shari's Ice Cream Shop Mystery series debuting next year. Congratulations, Shari!

Susan Van Kirk's A Death At Tippett Pond was released on June 15th. Read E. B. Davis's interview with Susan.

Warren Bull's Abraham Lincoln: Seldom Told Stories was released. It is available at: GoRead: https://www.goread.com/book/abraham-lincoln-seldom-told-stories or at Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/ydaklx8p

Grace Topping's mystery, Staging is Murder was released April 30. It is now also available in audio.


Friday, January 9, 2015

When Bechtel Owned The Rain

When Bechtel Owned the Rain

I completely missed these events when they occurred.  When I first heard about them I wondered if I misunderstood.  I did not.  Just in case you missed what happened, like I did, please check out the following:

In 1997 the World Bank, with support of the International Monetary Fund, told Bolivia that additional aid for water development was conditional upon Bolivia privatizing the public water system in the two largest urban settings, El Alto/La Paz and Cochabama.  In September of 1999 the government of Bolivia contracted with the only bidder, Bechtel, which has its home office in San Francisco, California, to have the corporation run the municipal water and sewage system in Cochabama, Bolivia for forty years.  The contract reportedly gave the government 2.5 billion dollars.  In exchange, Bechtel was guaranteed a return of 16% on their investment. In addition to the municipal system Bechtel claimed control over the water in wells and rain.

In Bolivia, 70% of the population earns less than the poverty level of wages. In January of 2000 protestors shut down Cocabama for four days complaining that waters bills had doubled or tripled since the corporation took over.  During the “water war” that followed government forces were set loose on the civilian population.  In the single month of April that year, six demonstrators were killed and dozens were wounded.  Despite the deaths and injuries, public protestors refused to give in, saying they could not pay their water bills and still have enough money to feed their families. 
On April 10 control of the water and sewer system was turned over to a grass roots agency in Bolivia known as La Coordinadora that came into existence as the result of the “water war.”

In December of 2001 Bechtel issued a statement reading in part…”for the poorest people in Cocabamam rates went up barely 10%.” Bechtel sought $25 million dollars in compensation from the Bolivian government blaming the contract cancelation not on the nation-wide protests but on an “unstable government.” 

A mediated settlement was reached four years later. Bechtel and a partner dropped their legal action in return for a token payment.

What’s next?  Will we be charged for breathing clean air?

What is your reaction? 


Gloria Alden said...

Warren, something like this is in north central California, too. Large land owners control the rights to the water table under their lands and are using huge amounts of water during a drought to water their own crops as well as their lawns, etc. They are also selling the water at inflated prices to others. I don't remember all the details, but when others in California are trying to conserve, they don't seem to care. And then there are wealthy people in Southern California who don't conserve water at all because they have the money to pay the high water bills and aren't concerned about the whole drought situation as long as they're not effected by it. My daughter in Benicia, a little town north of S.F. gets quite frustrated and angry when her next door neighbor washes his cement driveway, his cars, etc. and doesn't conserve water at all, or a few other neighbors who use sprinklers to keep their lawns green. They just shrug off the extra fee they have to pay for going over their limit.

LD Masterson said...

This is troubling on so many levels. Mega-corporations are taking control of too much of our lives.

James Montgomery Jackson said...

This piece touches on two problems. First is that over the last half-century "free market economics" has diminished the meaning of "public" goods to the point where only defense meets their definition of something government should provide -- all else is best left to the capitalist system.

However, with utilities (such as water) there are no competitors. Therefore, if unregulated, the corporation will seek to maximize profits and cost to consumers will skyrocket.

This is not unique to Bechtel and third world countries -- in the US in many states it is ILLEGAL for municipalities to compete in providing internet service -- even though the government could provide it less expensively.

When corporations are treated as people and humans considered only a necessary to produce and consume, everything becomes unbalanced.

~ Jim

Shari Randall said...

Those dystopian novels seem unbelievable, but then you read something like this. I wonder what happened to the concept of the "common good"?

Kara Cerise said...

NPR did a piece about how the major conflicts of the 21st century will be fought over water rights. Very troubling.

E. B. Davis said...

There are some who own beach-front homes and think they owne the beach. Not true. The beach is owned by all of us and access is free. It's a natural resource, like water, that should be available to all at a reasonable cost. Canada will rule the world if water becomes scarce. It's all getting very close to home since we don't own the U.S. anymore.