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An examination of the politics of privatization of water and sanitation services in Latin America. The experience of Argentina. (In Spanish, with an Introduction in English)

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Esteban CastroORCiD



This is an edited dossier containing 7 working papers. This Working Paper focuses on the experience of Argentina, which during the 1990s had become a key experimental ground for the implementation of neoliberal policies, including the privatization of water and sanitation services. The Working Paper is a dossier containing seven articles covering the experiences of water services privatization in the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Area (BAMA) and in the provinces of Chaco, Corrientes, Santa Fe, and Tucuman. While the case of Buenos Aires is well known and has been addressed by many authors, the others are much less known and some possibly entirely unknown, which adds interest to this publication. We must explain that only the cases of Buenos Aires and Tucumán were fully developed case studies, and that the others were not part of the original project and were complementary, partial efforts oriented ad providing a broader understanding of the impact of privatization policies in the country. Part 1 features four articles addressing different aspects of the privatization of water and sanitation services in the BAMA. The privatization started in 1993 with the granting of the concession to the private consortium Aguas Argentinas, led by the French multinational Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux, and was eventually cancelled by the Government of Argentina in 2006, two years after the completion of the research project. The privatization of water and sanitation services in the BAMA was the largest in the world at the time, and became a flagship for the neoliberal policies promoted by the international financial institutions and other actors. The controversies about what actually happened and why the Argentinian Government finally cancelled the concession in 2006 continue to this day, and the repercussions of the case at the national and international level remain significant. Some of the key politicians involved in the privatization have been jailed in Argentina, while the multinational Suez has taken Argentina to the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) of the World Bank in a case that has not yet been resolved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Castro JE, Azpiazu D, Forcinito K, Marín JC, Forte G, Catenazzi A, Representação N, Crenzel EA, Roze JP, Ceballos M

Publication type: Working Paper

Publication status: Published

Journal: WATERLAT-GOBACIT Network Working Papers, Research Projects Series, PRINWASS Project

Year: 2014

Pages: 1-312

Publisher: WATERLAT-GOBACIT Network (