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  1. Given that:

    * Spraying Roundup only kills foliage (thus allowing regrowth the next year)
    * Increased attacks & downing of planes (380 small arms strikes & 4 down planes last year, up from none a couple years prior)
    * Increased difficulty getting to the fields which are being hidden deeper in the jungles

    I agree with you that it won’t reduce supply. And even if it did, prices would rise thus keeping the trade profitable.

    I still say that, however unrealistic, if you want to improve the drug situation in this country, you’re better to squash demand.

    Comment by Eric — Tuesday, March 23, 2004 @ 10:26 am

  2. Colombian Trade Unionists on Hunger Strike at Coca-Cola Plants

    >>> >

    >>> >By Staff

    >>> >

    >>> >On Monday, March 15, Coca-Cola union workers in Colombia began a

    >>> >hunger strike in front of the Coke bottling plants in

    >>> >Barrancabermeja, Bogot, Bucaramanga, Cali, Cartagena, Ccuta,

    >>> >Medelln and Valledupar.Juan Carlos Galvis, vice-president of


    >>> >union in Barrancabermeja, has said, “If we lose the fight


    >>> >Coca-Cola, we will first lose our union, next our jobs and then


    >>> >lives.” William Mendoza, president of the union in


    >>> >said, “This is the final battle and we’re giving it all we’ve


    >>> >We need all supporters of human and labor rights in the U.S. to


    >>> >the same!”

    >>> >

    >>> >Coca-Cola has been the subject of an international boycott since

    >>> >July 22, 2002. The Colombian Action Network (CAN) has been


    >>> >the boycott in the United States. They have been organizing the

    >>> >boycott in communities and on college campuses across the


    >>> >Meredith Aby, of the Colombia Action Network, explained, “We


    >>> >for an international boycott against Killer Coke for their

    >>>hiring of

    >>> >paramilitary death squads to murder, threaten and kidnap union

    >>> >leaders. Nine union leaders at Coca-Cola have been killed in

    >>> >Colombia. It is the most dangerous place to be a union leader in


    >>> >world.”

    >>> >

    >>> >Aby continued, “On average, three trade unionists are killed


    >>> >week in Colombia! The Colombia Action Network stands in


    >>> >with the Colombian labor movement in their fight for the right


    >>> >organize. We criticize the U.S. government for the $3 billion in

    >>> >military aid they have given to the Colombian government since


    >>> >Both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have


    >>> >that these funds have gone directly to support the right-wing

    >>> >paramilitary death squads, which are the same organizations

    >>> >attacking the workers at Coca-Cola’s plants in Colombia.”

    >>> >

    >>> >On Sept. 9, 2003, Coca-Cola FEMSA (Coke’s largest bottler in


    >>> >America) closed the production lines at 11 of their 16 bottling

    >>> >plants in Colombia. The Coca-Cola Company shares several board

    >>> >members with Coca-Cola FEMSA and owns 46.4% of its voting stock.

    >>> >Since then, Coca-Cola FEMSA has pressured more than 500 workers

    >>> >into `voluntarily resigning’ from their contracts in exchange

    >>>for a

    >>> >lump-sum payment. Most of the union leaders refused to resign


    >>> >the company is escalating the pressure against them. On Feb. 25,


    >>> >Colombian Ministry of Social Protection (Labor) authorized


    >>> >FEMSA’s plans to dismiss 91 workers - 70% of whom are union


    >>> >This would essentially eliminate the union.

    >>> >

    >>> >The union is calling for Coca-Cola FEMSA to relocate those


    >>> >to other positions within those plants or to transfer them to


    >>> >plants. This is what the company is required to do, according to

    >>> >Articles 18 and 91 of the current collective bargaining


    >>> >In January, a Colombian judge also ordered the company to do


    >>> >for the workers at the plants in Barrancabermeja and Ccuta.

    >>> >

    >>> >In a communiqu from the Coca-Cola workers’ union, SINALTRAINAL,

    >>> >President Luis Javier Correa Suarez said, “We’re doing this


    >>> >strike) to denounce, nationally and internationally, that nine


    >>> >Cola workers have been killed and 67 have been threatened with

    >>> >death; and that we’ve been the victims of attempted murder,

    >>> >kidnappings, forced displacement, and the burning of one of our

    >>> >union offices by the paramilitaries. This has forced many

    >>>workers to

    >>> >resign from the union. We’re also denouncing the unjust


    >>> >of employment contracts, the use of illegal confinement to force

    >>> >workers to resign, the subcontracting of more than 88% of the

    >>> >workers and the impact this has had on living conditions and the

    >>> >attempt by Coca-Cola to eliminate rights in the negotiations of

    >>> >collective bargaining agreements as has been occurring since

    >>>March 1

    >>> >of this year.”

    >>> >

    >>> >"We, the workers affected by the closure of the production


    >>> >are continuing to resist. But, given the grave aggression that


    >>> >continuing to suffer, there’s no other recourse but to declare a

    >>> >hunger strike and demand that Coca-Cola respect the law, and


    >>> >the legal resolution passed by the judge in January 2004 to


    >>> >the right to work and require Coca-Cola to relocate the workers


    >>> >other positions. We’re also demanding the fulfillment of the

    >>> >collective bargaining agreement by relocating the workers in


    >>> >positions, an end to the repression, and respect for our human

    >>> >rights.”

    >>> >

    >>> >Tom Burke, of the Colombia Action Network, urges supporters of


    >>> >right to organize to contact Coca-Cola immediately. “This is an

    >>> >emergency! We need action! This may be the final show down


    >>> >the Colombian workers’ union, SINALTRAINAL, and Coca-Cola. This


    >>> >an important time for an overwhelming response from the


    >>> >People who are concerned about the rights of Colombian trade

    >>> >unionists must call Coca-Cola to demand that they recognize the

    >>> >union and the rights of workers!”

    >>> >

    >>> >To contact Coca-Cola and send a message of solidarity with the

    >>> >unionists go to www.colombiaactionnetwork.org

    Comment by Stephen — Tuesday, March 23, 2004 @ 2:34 pm

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