Nicaragua
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Consumer body protests against perceived Enacal sell-off

Bnamericas Published: Monday, October 04, 2004
A bidding process to hire a consultancy firm to help modernize Nicaraguan state-water and sewage utility Enacal is in fact a covert attempt to privatize it, La Prensa quoted a consumers group as saying. The 'national network for the defense of consumers' said it will combine legal action and public protests in an effort to prevent what it says is a "camouflaged" attempt to privatize Enacal. The bidding process is due to begin on October 10 but the network said it hopes the Appeals Court of Managua will stop the process, saying it is contrary to the legislation that founded Enacal. The network also hopes that the constitutional commission of the Supreme Court of Justice will also declare the bidding process unconstitutional on the basis that it violates Article 105 of the constitution, which states that it is the state's responsibility to guarantee that all citizens have access to water services. The network is also organizing a public protest outside Enacal offices on Wednesday, October 6, to protest against the proposed tender. Network representative Ruth Selma Herrera said that a transnational company that acquires Enacal would have huge control over the utility and would not need to consult with anyone about its plans.

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