Water multinational Suez has pulled out of the Argentine province of Santa Fe, ending troubled contracts with 13 cities. Community groups had been pressing for Suez to leave for more than three years. The corporation was accused of charging for work not done and refusing to make necessary investments in water systems – all the while raising water rates.
The departure in early May came on the eve of a global day of action against Suez. A group of concerned shareholders took action at Suez’s annual general meeting in Paris, protesting the corporation’s exploitative projects and policies around the world. Their call was backed by international actions in several countries. In Canada, activists sent Suez director Paul Desmarais Jr. letters demanding he stop the havoc Suez is creating around the world with its privatization schemes.
Suez, which also operates under the names Ondeo and United Water, controls the drinking water of 125 million people around the world, and treats the wastewater of another 70 million.