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Journalist sees hope in "nature" clause of Ecuador constitution

Journalist sees hope in "nature" clause of Ecuador constitution

Veronica Flachier, Ecuador, holds a bottle of water from Jerusalem and a glass of dirty water. © Helen Putsman/WCC

17 March 2015

 

 

Being a Lutheran in Ecuador has given Verónica Flachier the freedom to work for a permanent transformation, she says, spurring the liberty to act for a world of peace that comes with justice.

From Quito in Ecuador where Flachier lives, she can see that the water crisis pervades the whole world, but it is also different everywhere.

In her country the human right of access to water, the human right of having adequate sanitation that is linked to it, does not apply to everybody.

“Almost all the problems come a from lack of access to water, and polluted water. These stem from how local governments control the usage of water.

“The lack of access to safe water or drinking water is the product of years of bad distribution and the bad politics of water distribution,” says Flachier.

This passionate water activist, who is both a journalist and theologian, asserts that the ambitions of certain power groups and powerful corporations have determined the water crises the world lives in.

The power groups implement rules bound by the logic of the consumer market, where not only water is a commodity, but so is all of nature and even human beings.

There is no value, “only price” dominated by the “big market”.

But, says Flachier, there is hope in her part of Latin America.

“We are now living in a time when governments are trying to articulate politics to transform it for the people.

“I am very proud to say Ecuador is the first country in the world that put ‘nature’ into the constitution,” thereby ensuring rights of nature’s resources such as water.

Read also: Prophetic voices coming from the Pachamama. This reflection by Verónica Flachier has been published on the EWN website as part of the Seven Weeks for Water campaign as of 16 March 2015.

A group of 17 people, most of them theologians, but also lawyers and an engineer met at the Ecumenical Institute, Bossey, Switzerland, in a theological consultation on water justice from 8-11 December 2014 to develop a theological framework for water justice. Some of the group told Peter Kenny about the issue of water in the context of their regions, nations and local areas. So did some of the students studying at Bossey. The interviews will be published in the EWN website over the coming weeks.