The government of Bolivia, under pressure from the World Bank, decided to privatize water supply in the country’s third largest city, Cochabamba.
People were dissatisfied with the decision of the government. Demonstrations and a general strike erupted in January 2000 in protest against the tariff increase and the perceived privatization of water resources.
The government arrested the leader of the protesters, Oscar Olivera. But the protests spread to the entire country and the government declared a state of emergency in April. Protests still continued and several people were killed.
The government finally released Oscar Olivera and signed an agreement with him stating that the concession would be ended.
It was due to such protests by the people that the MNC contract was cancelled and the municipal water supply was restored to old rates.