Killer Coke Campaign

The Campaign to Stop Killer Coke is a worldwide movement based on the efforts of thousands of volunteers. Above all, it is a movement of We’s and not I’s, and we need all the help we can get if justice is to prevail.

Ray Rogers is the director of the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke. His organization, Corporate Campaign, Inc., created the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke to hold The Coca-Cola Company, its bottlers and subsidiaries accountable and to end the gruesome cycle of violence and collaboration with paramilitary thugs, particularly in Colombia. These atrocities include the systematic intimidation, kidnapping, torture and murder of union leaders and members of their families in efforts to crush their unions.

In countries like Colombia and Guatemala, a strong union can mean the difference between life and death for people who dare to challenge corporate and political abuses

The Colombian union SINALTRAINAL credits the worldwide campaign against Coke’s abuses as a major part of its struggle for survival and protecting the lives of many of its leaders and members.

SINALTRAINAL Vice President Juan Carlos Galvis has said:

“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!”

“If it weren’t for international solidarity,
We would have been eliminated long ago.
That is the truth”

The Campaign to Stop Killer Coke is committed to see justice prevail for these courageous workers in Colombia, Guatemala and elsewhere.

Background of Issues

1. Colombia:

A. In January 2012, another SINALTRAINAL union leader, Ricardo Ramon Paublott Gomez, was murdered by gunfire.

 

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.’ “

 

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.

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.

 

2. Guatemala

A. History is repeating itself in Guatemala. There is a lawsuit in U.S. Federal Court accusing The Coca-Cola Co. and its operations in Guatemala of murder, attempted murder and gang rape of a teenage daughter to pressure union leaders to stop their organizing.

Coke’s Crimes in Guatemala: www.killercoke.org/crimes_guatemala

3. El Salvador

Coca-Cola continues to benefit from hazardous child labor in the sugar cane fields of El Salvador as first reported by Human Rights Watch and film footage taken in 2007 which appeared in a documentary, Mark Thomas on Coca-Cola, which played on national television in the UK.

Video showing child labor from the Mark Thomas film:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKDCLbIZJds

Coke’s Crimes in El Salvador: www.killercoke.org/crimes_el_salvador

4. Mexico

Coke has been widely exposed in the Mexican press and is under investigation by Mexican authorities for an illegal scheme of outsourcing and tax evasion that has cheated Mexican workers and the Mexican government out of hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars. This came to light after the firing of former 16-year employee and marketing executive, Angel Alvarado, after he refused a directive to initiate an illegal campaign to destroy all of Coke’s competition at 700,000 mom-and-pop stores. Alvarado filed a lawsuit that led to further investigation by Mexican authorities.

Coke’s Crimes in Mexico: www.killercoke.org/crimes_mexico

5. India

In India, after years of Coca-Cola’s lying and denying any wrongdoing, a High Power Committee established by the state government of Kerala has recommended that Coca-Cola be held liable for $48 million, or more, to compensate victims in Plachimada for water pollution, agricultural losses and endangering the health of thousands. And this is just the tip of the iceberg regarding environmental damage and water exploitation that Coca-Cola and its operations are causing in countries including India, China, El Salvador and Mexico. Coke has been forced to shut down two plants in India and vigils and demonstrations against Coke continue in India.

Coke’s Crimes in India: www.killercoke.org/crimes_india

6. United States

Black and Hispanic production workers, including a group dubbed “The Coke 16,” are suing Coca-Cola, claiming they have been forced to work in a “cesspool of racial discrimination.” The suit, filed in Brooklyn Federal Court, accuses the company of relegating minorities to less favorable assignments, unfair disciplinary action and retaliation for complaining…”

 

For more information on the KILLER COKE CAMPAIGN visit:

www.killercoke.org

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