Bechtel Falsifies The Facts On Its Bolivia Disaster

Can one of the world’s most powerful corporations
come to one of the world’s poorest countries, do
unconscionable damage, lie about it, and then get
away with lying? As the Enron debacle reminds us how willing some corporate leaders are to falsify facts in order to fatten their profits, here is a chance
for us to hold one corporate leader directly and
personally accountable, before the damage is done.

2002.01.17


Here is the question.


Can one of the world’s most powerful corporations
come to one of the world’s poorest countries, do
unconscionable damage, lie about it, and then get
away with lying?


The answer may well depend on whether you are
willing to take about half a minute of your time
to help.


In December I sent an e-mail to Riley Bechtel, CEO
and chairman of Bechtel Enterprises, calling on
him to drop his company’s $25 million legal action
against the people of Bolivia.


More than 100 other Democracy Center readers also
sent e-mails to Bechtel.


This forced an official response from the
company’s public relations department, in which
the company outright lied about the enormous price
hikes it imposed on people here.


Not only that, Bechtel tried to peddle the same
false information to my editors at Pacific News
Service in an effort to block publication of an
article I wrote on events here.


Despite Bechtel’s efforts, that article was
syndicated nationwide and ran on January 14 in the
Sacramento Bee.


SEE THE PROOF OF BECHTEL’S WILLINGNESS TO
FALSIFY THE FACTS


Not only do we know Bechtel is lying, we can prove
it and we have now posted that evidence on our web
site available for all who wish to view it:


http://www.democracyctr.org/bechtel/index.htm


There you will find actual before-and-after copies
of people’s water bills, documenting Bechtel’s
increases.


You will also find a full computer analysis of
Bechtel’s price hikes conducted by the current
water company, as well as my letter to Bechtel,
Bechtel’s response and a host of other documents.


Believe me, this is about 10 times more detail
than anyone would ever want to know about water
rates in Bolivia – but in the detail lies the
proof that Bechtel is willing to lie to both press
and public in order to avoid responsibility for
what they did here.


TAKE ACTION NOW


Here’s what you can do and it will take you about
30 seconds to do it (I timed it):


1) Highlight and copy the text below:


Dear Mr. Bechtel,
I am writing to express my strong objections to
your company’s legal actions against the Bolivian
people. The Democracy Center has now documented
for all to see how your company has falsified
information about the water price hikes it imposed
on poor families. If you and your company have any
integrity in this matter you will drop your $25
million demand against Bolivia and instead issue
an apology to the Bolivian people for the damage
you have caused and the public for the
misinformation you have spread.

Sincerely,


2) Click on the address link below:


This will automatically open a message to Mr.
Bechtel’s personal e-mail, to his public relations
department and will also send a copy to The
Democracy Center. Paste the text above into your
message, adding a subject line, your name and any
other comments you’d like to make.


rbechtel@bechtel.com, news@bechtel.com, info@democracyctr.org


As the Enron debacle reminds us how willing some
corporate leaders are to falsify facts in order to
fatten their profits, here is a chance for us to
hold one corporate leader directly and personally
accountable, before the damage is done.


Please do this now and please share this note with
others who might be willing to do the same.


[ also see related items:


Bolivian Police Attack Massive Anti-World Bank/Bechtel March
http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1278


Bolivia Rejects Globalization
http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=628


OAS / FTAA 101 – http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1104
]

Author: Jim Shultz

News Service: The Democracy Center On-Line Newsletter, Volume 42

URL: http://www.democracyctr.org/newsletter/index.htm