A series of multinational companies have initiated legal actions against the Bolivian government in the last month. All have said their actions were based on Bolivia breaching its obligations under Bilateral Investment Agreements, otherwise known as BITs.
I had never heard heard of them before, but it turns out the very first one here was signed between Bolivia and the UK in the late 80s. Hiding behind legal language, they are charters of exploitation, giving huge powers to multinationals to protect their interests and threaten governments.
With a growing backlash against privatisation in countries like Bolivia and 92 cases pending against developing countries worldwide, BITS are likely to become yet another acronym in global campaigners vocabulary.