Colleges and universities across the U.S., most recently the University of Michigan and NYU, are deciding to ban Coca-Cola from their campuses in response to the company’s alleged human rights abuses in Colombia.
"The reality is that the world of Coca-Cola is a world of lies, deceptions, corruption, gross human rights and environmental abuses," said Ray Rogers, the director of the "Killer Coke" campaign.
The beverage company is accused of being complicit in the murders, torture and other violent acts against union leaders and organizers at its bottling plants in Colombia. Company officials are crying foul, insisting that activists don’t have their facts straight.
"If, when the first of our colleagues was killed, Coca-Cola had issued a statement condemning the paramilitaries or the criminals and demanding that they stay out of worker-employer relations, we would definitely say that the company had distanced itself from what happened," Edgar Paez of SINALTRAINAL (a union representing Colombian food-industry workers) told BusinessWeek. "But Coca-Cola doesn’t say anything! We believe that if they don’t condemn these killings, a multinational is encouraging impunity."