The push for nationalizing utilities

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The Washington Post reports on the increasing calls for de-privatization in Latin America:

Across Latin America, a growing number of people say the privatization of public services, a movement that swept the region in the 1980s and 1990s, has failed. Protests have erupted over the issue in several countries, and some governments are beginning to reverse these policies. Last week Argentina announced it was rescinding its 30-year contract with the French company Suez and reinstating government control of the water supply.

The article details cases of poor service delivery and the protests that are occurring throughout the Andean countries and Central America. Though some would caution that these anti-privatization movements have short memories:

Some officials and experts who promote the role of the private sector in development of basic services said the swing toward nationalization seems like a case of collective amnesia: People are forgetting that many state-run utilities were a mess, they say, wracked with debt and in need of bailouts. "It would seem that so many years of bad service and very high costs weren't enough to demonstrate that these roads lead to failure," said Adrian Menem, an Argentine congressman and nephew of former president Carlos Menem, who led the privatization efforts of the 1990s. "We are returning to the blind state of the past century."

Via CIPE Blog, which has more comment on the article.

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