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  HOME | Central America

Salvadorans Demand Constitutional Right to Water

SAN SALVADOR Hundreds of Salvadorans marched to the Legislative Assembly on Monday to deliver more than 52,000 signatures in support of enshrining the right to water in the country's constitution.

A member of the Center for the Defense of the Consumer, one of the groups behind the initiative, told Efe that 38,200 signatures backing the proposed amendment were handed over to congress in December.

The petition campaign, called "The Water is Ours," is the work of more than 100 grassroots organizations that regard access to clean water as a basic human right.

Besides the march in San Salvador, campaigners held rallies Monday in other Salvadoran cities to generate support for their effort.

The CDC member said that despite the endorsement of four of the five parties represented in congress, the proposed constitutional amendment remains stalled.

Under El Salvador's charter, a constitutional amendment needs only a simple majority - 43 of the 84 votes - to pass on first reading in the Legislative Assembly, but must secure a 56-vote majority in the next legislature to become law.

Opposition to the measure comes from the governing right-wing ARENA party, which lost seats in last month's legislative elections and is poised to see its 20-year grip on the presidency end in next month's presidential balloting.

The World Bank says El Salvador is the worst country in the Western Hemisphere in providing access to safe drinking water. EFE
 

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