Press Release (ePRNews.com) - NEW YORK - Apr 24, 2017 - James Quincey, The Coca-Cola Company’s incoming CEO, presided over an alleged scheme to defraud Mexican workers and the Mexican government out of billions of dollars while he was President of Coca-Cola’s Mexico division between 2005 and 2008, charged Ray Rogers, Director of the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke.
Coca-Cola’s alleged scam, which started in 1987, came to light in 2007 when a marketing executive refused to comply with Quincey’s directives to employ illegal monopolistic practices to strong-arm Mom-and-Pop stores throughout Mexico to stop selling competing beverages.
After being forced to resign in the presence of an armed guard, the whistleblower discovered a decades-long scheme to circumvent Mexican labor laws requiring 10% profit sharing to employees. That scheme not only defrauded the workers out of hundreds of millions of dollars, but also cheated the Mexican government out of tens of millions of dollars in annual tax revenue.
According to Rogers, “Quincey’s promotion to CEO means that Coca-Cola intends to continue its illegal and immoral treatment of workers throughout the world.” Quincey joined Coca-Cola’s Latin America Group in 1996 and became president of the South Latin Division in 2003. During his tenure in Latin America, Coca-Cola has faced numerous charges of complicity in human rights abuses in Colombia and Guatemala, including the kidnapping, torture and murder of union leaders documented on www.KillerCoke.org and in The Coca-Cola Case, a documentary produced by the National Film Board of Canada.
Colombia Reports 8/30/16 stated: “Coca-Cola is one of more than 50 companies that will be charged with financing the now-defunct Colombian paramilitary AUC group … which killed many dozens of labor rights defenders during its existence between 1997 and 2006, to a transitional justice tribunal.”
Rogers asserts, “Holding Coca-Cola responsible for its misconduct in Mexico poses special obstacles because of the company’s close ties to the Mexican government.” Before serving as Mexico’s president between 2000 and 2006, Vicente Fox was Coca-Cola’s top executive in Mexico. In October 2014, a Mexican lawsuit charging Coca-Cola, Quincey and other senior executives with liability for the fraudulent labor and tax scam was dismissed.
“With Quincey’s elevation to the Coca-Cola’s top worldwide job, the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke will redouble its efforts to bring Quincey and the company to justice,” says Rogers, who stated that “the Campaign has opened an investigation into the circumstances of how and why the Mexican lawsuit was dismissed.”
Rogers said that the Campaign is expanding to focus on Mexico, Coca-Cola’s largest per capita market, and is also considering commencing a civil action in the United States and/or a petition for relief with one of the international courts of human rights.
Per Rogers, Coca-Cola’s exposure for the Mexican labor and tax fraud runs to the billions of dollars, pointing to a May 2011 report from major international law firm CORPUSIURE. That report concluded that “f the accusations of fraud held against Coca-Cola [are] found to be true, the company would lose a figure ranging in the billions.”
Corporate Campaign, Inc.