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Reportback from Colombian Union Activist speaking on Coca Cola's Human Rights Atrocities

The speaker, Juan Carlos Galvis spoke last night in the Musician's Union Hall, Local 88. He spoke of the reasons behind the initiation of the campaign to take on the coca cola corporation. The need for this boycott has come about because of Coca Cola's systematic violation of human rights. He shared with us some of the events that led to the decision to begin this worldwide campaign:

Dec 5, 1996, Isidro Segundo Gil was assasinated at the bottling plant in Carepa. {A chilling description of Gil's assassination, based on eyewitness accounts, is the centerpiece of a lawsuit filed in Miami in July 2001 against Coca-Cola, Panamerican Beverages (the largest soft drink bottler in Latin America) and Bebidas y Alimentos (a bottler owned by Richard Kirby of Key Biscayne, Fla., which operates the plant in which Gil was killed.... http://www.killercoke.org/} The murder took place inside the bottling factory of Coca Cola and was perpetrated by paramilitary groups. Luis Aldorfo Companera had to leave the union at this time because his life was threatened. he now has asylum here in the U.S, lives in Chicago and cannot return for fear he will lose his life. And on that same day they burned down the local union hall.

Dec 6, 1996. The very next day, the paramilitiaries entered the factory, rounded up workers and told them to leave the union or face assassination. 48 members had to flee that area because of the events of that day. In that fashion, they basically wiped out that local.
That same year, 5 members of the union were arrested and jailed on terrorism charges. It seemed that these were claims of terrorism against coca cola. They spent 6 months in jail before they were released and declared innocent by the courts. But the coca cola company was asking that they receive 20 years in prison and 500 million dollars in colombian currency as fines.
And in that same time-frame in a town nearby, another union worker was kidnapped by paramilitary groups. He was driven around the city blindfolded to a distant location. When the blindfold was removed he was showed pictures in a newspaper of a protest outside a coca cola plant and was told that if these continues they would take his life. And there are over 65 union members who have received death threats from these same paramilitary groups. This is a 37 minute audio file of that presentation, given in Spanish with English translation. Listen to the MP3 version @ PDX IMC Web Radio | Listen to the Real Media Version @ PhilosopherSeed.org website

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