One day in Chinique de las Flores, Guatemala, dirty water began flowing out of the taps. The children got sick. As the water turned the colour of chocolate, residents were forced to buy clean water. They turned to the municipality for answers and were met with a brick wall. They turned to Acción Ciudadana, of Transparency International, and with our help uncovered a trail of corruption that led to ghost workers and a dead man being paid to construct water pipes.
With the threat of violence looming it took two elections to remove the corrupt Mayor and have him face justice and prison.Image courtesy Irene Perlman/Oxfam America
Sindy Celeste Rodas Carbonell organised the petition and march for new elections. “We knew we could lose everything. There were women, farmers, professionals, teachers. It was indescribable emotion,” she said. “People were crying out of joy.”
With a new Mayor, the pipes have been repaired and there are seven more springs. It took courage for the residents to take action to get clean water.
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