This Report analyzes two cases in which TNC activities have had an impact on Bolivian citizens' enjoyment of economic, social, and cultural rights (“ESC rights”). In so doing, it analyzes not only corporate conduct but also the Bolivian government's role in protecting ESC rights from violation. The cases involve an oil spill by Transredes, a TNC partly owned by Enron and Shell, in Bolivia's Desaguadero River, which affected over one hundred indigenous communities; and the water war that took place in the city of Cochabamba over the privatization of Cochabamba's water system and its operation by the consortium Aguas del Tunari, partly owned by Bechtel. The first section of this Report provides background information on the issue of TNC violations of ESC rights, and describes the international legal framework within which we are working. Sections II and III deal with the oil spill and water war cases respectively. These sections document the salient facts of each case, analyze them under international human rights law, describing both the TNCs' and the Bolivian government's responsibilities for alleged violations, and present recommendations to the Bolivian State and TNCs. In both cases, we find violations of ESC rights, such as the rights to water and health, environmental rights, and indigenous peoples' rights. However, as previously noted, we find that the most significant rights violations were committed by the Bolivian State in its failure to create or implement procedures for the protection and enforcement of substantive ESC rights. Finally, Section IV offers general observations and recommendations to international institutions and monitoring bodies regarding the protection of ESC rights from violation by TNCs.
Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno and Tracy Higgins,
No Recourse: Transnational Corporations and the Protection of Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights in Bolivia ,
27 Fordham Int'l L.J. 1663
Available at: https://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/ilj/vol27/iss5/1