The Coca-Cola Case

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1h 26m | Documentary


Columbia is the trade union murder capital of the world. Since 2002, more than 470 workers' leaders have been brutally killed, usually by paramilitaries hired by private companies intent on crushing the unions. Among these unscrupulous corporate brands is the poster boy for American business: Coca-Cola.

Talk to Martin Gil: His brother Isidro was killed at point-blank range while working at the Coca-Cola bottling plant in Carepa, because he was part of a union bargaining unit. Like most violent crimes committed against Colombian union leaders, Gil's murder went unpunished.

However, U.S. lawyers Daniel Kovalik and Terry Collingsworth, as well as activist Ray Rogers, stepped in and launched an ambitious crusade against the behemoth Coca-Cola. In an incredible three-year saga, filmmakers German Gutiérrez and Carmen Garcia follow these heroes in a legal game of cat and mouse. From Bogota to New York, Guatemala to Atlanta, Washington to Canada, The Coca-Cola Case maintains the suspense of a hard-fought struggle.

The lawyers filed several cases at the U.S. federal court against Cola-Cola for murder, abduction and torture committed in Colombia and Guatemala. Thanks to activist Ray Rogers, they also attacked the brand image of the Atlanta-based giant, with the devastating campaign Stop Killer Coke!, causing dozens of U.S. colleges and universities to boycott the drink.

Still the company would not give up. After five years of haggling, will the lawyers get justice? In the end, they reach a settlement of sorts, but what will the victims choose—cash, or power and integrity?

Director: Carmen Garcia, German Gutierrez
Studio: National Film Board of Canada
Writer(s): Carmen Garcia
Official Site: http://nfb.ca/the-coca-cola-case

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