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Hypocrisy of Coke at the London Olympics

July 11, 2012

The following information is re-posted from the Killer Coke Campaign.

It’s unfortunate the Olympics committee continues to defame the ideals and the spirit the Olympics is supposed to represent. How much lower can the Olympic committee stoop than to sell the Olympic logo to the highest corporate bidders like Coca-Cola, which has exclusive rights as the only soft drinks provider to the Olympics?

As reported by the Associated Press, “Alongside McDonald’s, Coca-Cola has the exclusive right to sell non-alcoholic drinks at Olympic venues. Heineken, partly owned by FEMSA, has been named the games official beer.” Mexican-based FEMSA and Coca-Cola jointly own Coca-Cola FEMSA, which is Coca-Cola’s largest bottler.

Coca-Cola FEMSA is involved in horrific human rights abuses against union leaders and family members in Colombia. FEMSA’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Jose Antonio Fernandez Carbajal, is a member of Heineken’s board. He is also on Heineken’s Supervisory Board with Javier Gerardo Astaburuaga Sanjines, FEMSA’s chief financial officer.

If there are supporters in England during the Olympics who are interested in protesting, feel free to use any images on our site and to download any flyers, posters and stickers.

Why Coke Shouldn’t Be Allowed Near the Olympics

Dozens of colleges and universities and many labor unions throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe have removed Coke machines and banned Coke beverages from their facilities and functions because of Coke’s widespread labor, human rights and environmental abuses.

On April 25, 2012, dozens of proxy holders, including students, academics and human rights leaders attended Coca-Cola’s annual shareholders meeting prepared to ask a series of tough questions, but Coke did not allow most of these questions to be raised. Coke Chair/CEO Muhtar Kent used his bully pulpit to continue a stream of propaganda and lies denying any wrongdoing whatsoever by the Company.

Protesters outside the meeting carried signs that said, “Coke CEO Muhtar Kent – Liar!”; “Coke’s not it! Coke 16 sue, Say Coke plants are ‘Cesspools of racial discrimination.’ ” and “Don’t Drink Killer Coke! Zero Ethics! Zero Justice! Zero Health!” while a mobile billboard saying: “KillerCoke.org Unthinkable! Undrinkable!, Murders in Colombia, Child Labor in El Salvador, Stealing and Polluting Water in India, El Salvador and Mexico” circled the meeting venue.

  • Coke must stop operating like a criminal syndicate with impunity in countries like Colombia and Guatemala and stop the violence against union leaders and family members in efforts to crush their unions.
  • Coke must stop buying sugar from suppliers that use illegal child labor in the dangerous job of harvesting sugar cane.
  • Coke must stop cheating Mexican workers and the government out of hundreds of millions or billions of dollars through an illegal scheme of outsourcing and tax evasion.
  • Coke must stop the pollution and over-exploitation of water resources in places like India, Mexico and El Salvador, which is depriving farmers of water for irrigation and communities of water for sanitation and drinking.
  • Coke must end their vehement opposition to bottle deposit bills, which aim to clean up the billions of plastic bottles filling our streams, oceans and our lands.
  • Coke must end its culture of racial discrimination in the United States and Mexico.
  • Coke must stop aggressively marketing beverages to children that we all know are unhealthy and can lead to serious chronic and even terminal illnesses.

All these injustices and more are well-documented in recent books, articles, reports, lawsuits, documentary films and on the website, www.KillerCoke.org.

Background of Issues

1. Colombia:

A. In January 2012, another SINALTRAINAL union leader, Ricardo Ramon Paublott Gomez, was murdered by gunfire. We reported on it in our February 21, 2012 newsletter, Item #1, http://www.killercoke.org/nl120221.php

B. In November 2011, there was an intrusion into the home of Juan Carlos Galvis, SINALTRAINAL vice president and Coke worker. His wife, Jackeline Rojas Castaneda, was tied up; gagged and red paint was sprayed on her body and clothes. The intruders threatened to kill her daughter and demanded information about her husband.

In addition to the attack, two laptops, USB sticks, mobiles and documents were stolen. These contained information about Galvis’s work.

It was reported in the book, “The Coke Machine” published in 2010:

“The constant pressure of driving around with bodyguards waiting for the next death threat has clearly gotten to him…

” ‘It is tough,’ [Galvis] says. ‘We are on the brink of death, but we keep surviving. We bring in new members to the union, but the company fires them. If it weren’t for international solidarity, we would have been eliminated long ago. That is the truth.’ “

Galvis also stated:

“If we lose this fight against Coke,
First we will lose our union,
Next we will lose our jobs,
And then we will all lose our lives!”

We reported on this home invasion in our newsletter, Item#1 on Jan. 11, 2012: http://www.killercoke.org/nl120111.php#1

C. In December 2010, the police entered the Coca-Cola bottler in the city of Medellin, authorized by the president of Coca-Cola. They entered with armored tanks, shields, firing weapons with chemical fumes, intimidating and pressuring the subcontracted workers who were protesting. They militarized the dispute and forced workers to desist and accept verbal commitment of the multinational that promised to resolve the conflict, but simultaneously the workers were notified of their dismissal. Since then, the police remain in the Coca-Cola bottling plant, 24 hours a day, terrorizing workers.

We reported on this in our Feb. 11, 2011, newsletter, Item #1fi: http://www.killercoke.org/nl110213.php#1f1

D. As a part of Coca-Cola’s attempted cover-up of the abuses in Colombia, the Company threatened legal action against the National Film Board of Canada, the International Human Rights Film Festival in Paris, France and Cinema Politica, a worldwide grassroots film collective, if the film, The Coca-Cola Case, was shown uncensored. No one backed down and the film continues to play to large audiences around the world.

We reported on this in our January 15, 2010 newsletter at: http://www.killercoke.org/nl100115b.php

The threatening letter Coke sent out is at: http://www.killercoke.org/downloads/lettertocinemapolitica.pdf

The Coca-Cola Case

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