Campaign to Stop Killer Coke | Update February 16, 2006
DOUBLE ACTION ALERT re: Death Threats AND Investor Responsibility
Contents of Newsletter
1. Death Threats Against SINALTRAINAL (English & Spanish), call Coca-Cola 1-800-GET-COKE and Colombian Embassy — (202) 387 8338 in the United States — to express your concern regarding these threats. More info and Canadian contact below, in other countries use the link below to look up the Colombian Embassy in your country and contact them. (From Colombia Solidarity Campaign)
2. TIAA-CREF is Deciding on Issues & Companies to Take On — Call & Email Them; Call TIAA-CREF and tell them that if they remain invested in Coca-Cola and other companies such as Wal-Mart, Costco, Nike, Altria/Philip Morris, and Chevron, that they should direct their proven record of shareholder advocacy to change these companies' irresponsible behavior. Call and ask for CEO Herbert Allison at 800-842-2733 or 212-490-9000 (leave message with an assistant) More info below and details about sending an email. (From Make TIAA-CREF Ethical)
DEATH THREATS AGAINST SINALTRAINAL
At about 10:30 a.m. on 10 February we learnt of the contents of an envelope thrown by unknown persons under the door of the offices of ASTDEMP trade union, which functions as the Santander regional headquarters for the (trade union federation) CUT. The office is at floor 2, No 14 - 09, 42nd Street, Bucaramanga. The envelope contained the following threat against members of SINALTRAINAL who work in the Coca-Cola bottling plant in Bucaramanga:
AUC BLACK EAGLES
The demobilized [paramilitaries] of Magdalena Medio - Black Eagles make a call to the terrorist Coca-Cola trade unionists Javier Correa, Luis Garcia (alias El Chile), Domingo Flores (alias Fatty) and Nelson Perez that they stop bad mouthing the Coca-cola corporation given they have caused enough damage already, stop this campaign against corporations in Santander that help the f**ked of this country. [If there is] no response we declare them military targets of the Black Eagles as they prefer - death, torture, cut into pieces, coup de grace - in Magdalena Medio style - this defines you as terrorists of the guerrillas - no more noisy fuss - remember our commander Mancuso does not like noise. "
This threat comes after the claim by Vice-President Francisco Santos on radio Caracol News of 12 December 2006, in reference to the Attorney General's investigation into Colombian football clubs, that "there are campaigns to malign Coca-Cola and Nestlé as well as other private corporations led by sectors of the extreme radical left, infiltrated in trade unions, that are generating absolutely absurd campaigns against the corporations".
Several of the threatened comrades have been unjustly imprisoned, have suffered previous attempts on their lives, their families have been victims of attempted disappearances, they are permanently under legal sanction by Coca-Cola, suspended from their work contracts, and its precisely at this time that we confront employer's attempt to thwart the incorporation of the union's executive committee in Bucaramanga, according to an announcement by the Ministry of Social Protection. We are suffering a dirty campaign in the Coca-Cola bottling plant against the National President of SINALTRAINAL and other comrades, with the purpose of creating terror and confusion.
We hold the government of álvaro Uribe Vélez and all its officials responsible for the form of their public accusations against trade unionists and the opposition. This demonstrates that the process of demobilisation of the paramilitaries is purely rhetorical, since the death threats, assassinations, displacement, criminalisation and torture and other like practices are all continuing.
We demand that the government and the corporations guarantee the lives of the trade unionists and our right to association.
LUIS JAVIER CORREA SUAREZ
Bogotá D.C., 10 Febrero 2007
Colombia Solidarity Campaign adds:
We apologise for not having a pre-prepared model letter. Nonetheless we urge all readers to send e-mails, and letters to the Colombian authorities and to Coca-Cola Corporation expressing concern.
In the UK, write to:
Colombian Embassy in UK E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Write to Charlotte Oades, President, Coca-Cola Great. Britain, 1 Queen Caroline Street, London W6 9HQ
In the United States, write to:
Carolina Barco Isakson, Colombian Embassy, 2118 Leroy Place, NW, Washington, DC 20008
Phone: (202) 387 8338
Fax: (202) 232 8643
In Canada, write to:
Jaime Giron Duarte, Colombian Embassy, 360 Albert Street, Suite 1002, Ottawa, ON. - K1R 7X7
Tels: (613) 230-3760/1
Fax: (613) 230-4416
In the U.S. and Canada, call: 1-800-GET-COKE
with a copy to the Colombia Solidarity Campaign E-mail: email@example.com
AMENAZADOS INTEGRANTES DE SINALTRAINAL
El dia 10 de Febrero de 2007, siendo aproximadamente las 10:30 a.m., conocimos el contenido de un sobre que desconocidos arrojaron por debajo de la puerta de las oficinas del sindicato ASTDEMP que funciona en la sede de la CUT Santander en la ciudad de Bucaramanga ubicada en la Calle 42 No 14 - 09 piso 2, al ser destapado el sobre contenia la siguiente amenaza contra integrantes de la SINALTRAINAL que trabajan con la embotelladora de Coca cola en la ciudad de Bucaramanga:
Esta amenaza se produce después que el Vicepresidente de Colombia Francisco Santos en Caracol Noticias el dia 12 de Diciembre de 2006, al referirse a la intervencion que hizo la Fiscalia General de la Nacion sobre las finanzas de los clubes del balompié colombiano, afirmo que las campanas de desprestigio contra Coca cola y Nestlé y otras empresas privadas, están siendo impulsados por sectores de extrema izquierda, radical, infiltrados en sectores sindicales, que están generando campanas absolutamente absurdas contra las empresas".
Varios de los companeros amenazados han sido injustamente encarcelados, han sufrido atentados contra su vida, las familias victimas de intento de desaparicion, judicializados permanentemente por la empresa Coca cola, suspendidos sus contratos de trabajo, y precisamente en estos momentos enfrentamos el intento de las empresas para impedir la inscripcion de la Junta Directiva en la ciudad de Bucaramanga con la anuencia del Ministerio de la Proteccion Social y estamos soportando una campana sucia y de desprestigio en la Embotelladora de Coca cola contra el Presidente Nacional de SINALTRAINAL y otros companeros, con el fin de crear terror y confusion.
Responsabilizamos al Gobierno de álvaro Uribe Vélez y todos sus funcionarios por la forma como vienen haciendo acusaciones publicas contra los sindicalistas y la oposicion. Este hecho demuestra que el proceso de desmovilizacion de los paramilitares es pura retorica, ya que siguen las amenazas, los asesinatos, el desplazamiento, la judicializacion y la tortura, entre otros.
Exigimos del gobierno y las empresas garantizar la vida de los sindicalistas y el derecho de asociacion
LUIS JAVIER CORREA SUAREZ
Bogotá D.C., 10 de febrero de 2007
YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE IN POWERFUL TIAA-CREF TO MAKE THEM CLEAN UP OTHERS' IRRESPONSIBLE CORPORATE BEHAVIOR
THEY ARE CURRENTLY DECIDING ON ISSUES AND COMPANIES TO TAKE ON.
YOUR CALLS AND EMAILS ARE NEEDED RIGHT NOW
Tell TIAA-CREF that if they remain invested in Coke, Wal-Mart, Costco, Nike, Altria/Philip Morris, and Chevron, that they should direct their proven record of shareholder advocacy to change these company's irresponsible behavior. And ask them to add low-income area community investment and social venture capital to their socially responsible fund. If you are a TIAA-CREF participant, say that. Call and ask for CEO Herbert Allison at 800-842-2733; 212-490-9000 (leave message with an assistant), plus email him at HAllison@tiaa-cref.org (copies to firstname.lastname@example.org ).
- Forward this message widely to colleagues and friends.
- Help build our base: Sign up for occasional campaign updates/alerts: NJWollman@manchester.edu (say "send MTCE updates" in the subject line).
- Further details at www.maketiaa-crefethical.org/ see listing below of groups sponsoring this effort.
The nation's largest pension fund, TIAA-CREF, a retirement fund mainly for educators, prides itself on being responsive to shareholders and a "concerned investor" with regard to social responsibility. They have made significant improvements, but they still hold shares in some of the most controversial and notoriously unethical corporations, including Altria/Philip Morris, responsible for Marlboro-the #1 cigarette brand among youth; Nike and Wal-Mart, widely condemned for their use of sweatshop labor-- and other bad practices for the latter company regarding domestic labor, sprawl, and effects on local economies; Costco, for its warehouse in Cuernavaca, Mexico, which severely damages an archeological site and abuses human rights; Chevron, the oil giant supporting the repressive regime in Burma. And Coke for human rights and environmental abuses overseas-and advertising to children in the U.S. TIAA-CREF has now sold all its World Bank bonds, which have resulted in harm to many Third World citizens, but it needs to assert that it will not buy any new ones.
A coalition of groups urges the pension system to influence these companies to change these practices or to divest of shares in these corporations involved in human rights violations, and public health and environmental degradation, and instead invest in socially responsible ventures. We have previously done lobbying and taken direct actions to successfully promote more social responsibility within TIAA-CREF. Because of the size and prominence of TIAA-CREF, if they make the changes we desire, it can lead others to do the same.
Make TIAA-CREF Ethical
** Campaign to Stop Killer Coke/Corporate Campaign, Inc, Sprawl-Busters ? Press for Change, Social Choice for Social Change, Citizens Coalition (Frente Civico), Educating for Justice, National Community Reinvestment Coalition, United Students Against Sweatshops, Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, Corporate Accountability International (formerly Infact), World Bank Bonds Boycott, Canadian Committee To Combat Crimes Against Humanity (CCCCH) **
Campaign to Stop KILLER COKE
We are seeking your help to stop a gruesome cycle of murders, kidnappings, and torture of union leaders and organizers involved in daily life-and-death struggles at Coca-Cola bottling plants in Colombia, South America.
"If we lose the fight against Coca-Cola, we will first lose our union, next our jobs and then our lives." SINALTRAINAL VIce President Juan Carlos Galvis
Learn the truth about The Coca-Cola Co.
"We believe the evidence shows that Coca-Cola and its corporate network are rife with immorality, corruption and complicity in murder."
Campaign to Stop Killer Coke/Corporate Campaign, Inc. Director Ray Rogers