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Patterns of Explaining Water Protests in Mexico

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Technical Report

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Naval Postgraduate School Monterey United States

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Mexicans only protest water privatization when they feel they are getting a bad deal on issues, such as poor water service, poor water quality, or unaffordable water price. In general, protesters blame privatization when they do not get what they pay for. Issues subsumed under water privatization and the threat to increase privatization are the most significant causal factors of water-related protests in Mexico. Protesters associate bad water service, poor water quality, and unaffordable water prices with water privatization. By analyzing water privatization in Mexico City and Aguascalientes, this thesis finds that state capacity and regulatory frameworks are key factors affecting the success of water privatization. In order to prevent future protests over water privatization, this thesis recommends the following practices first, Mexico should strengthen its state capacity by reforming its public institutions second, Mexico should strengthen its regulatory framework to ensure adequate governmental oversight over water companies. Finally, the government of Mexico should promote not-for-profit water companies as a way to avoid predatory practices from private water companies and governmental corruption. Subsidies should accompany each of these recommendations to guarantee access to water at an affordable price for everyone.

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  • Civil Engineering

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