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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

El Salvador 2005 Journal X

CDC's logo

Groups like the CDC are the real opposition in El Salvador. They produce a weekly radio show and are regularly quoted in the newspaper. They also place ads on TV. Interestingly, the Canadian Ambassador did not know about this organization.

Privatization is a major focus for the CDC. Since the 1990’s privatization of services has become the trend in Latin America. Senior’s pensions, electricity, telecommunications, transportation have all been privatized in El Salvador. Health care was threatened and now water is a major concern. Control of water is now passing to local control. There is real concern that municipalities will be pressured to look for needed capital from the private sector.

The CDC has conducted price comparisons with other Latin American countries on a number of services. In cases where privatization has taken hold the cost of services has risen. For example, the price for power (154 Kw/hr) in El Salvador is $20.43. In Costa Rica the price is $9.35. In Honduras the price for the same amount of power is $10.22. Power in Costa Rica and Honduras is public. As privatization has increased so has the cost of living. In twelve years, the cost of living has gone up $300.00 per month. The average minimum wage during the same period has gone up $58.00. People are working just to survive.

The CDC will continue to work to build the social network necessary to educate Salvadorans on their situation. It is a daunting task, but they realize that the only way to confront this unfair situation is for people to become aware of the causes of the economic squeeze they now find themselves in.

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