Multinational beverage producer Coca-Cola is one of more than 50 companies that will be charged with financing the now-disbanded Colombian paramilitary network AUC, a designated terrorist organization. Several of the country's courts are to contribute evidence of the involvement of these companies in financing the AUC to a transitional justice tribunal. The AUC, or Colombia Sefl-Defense Froces, killed many dozens of labor rights defenders during its existence between 1997 and 2006. Among the 57 companies are other major multinationals like Chiquita and Drummond. Colombia's state-run oil company Ecopetrol, the country’s largest soft-drink producer Postobón and the country's largest cement company, Cementos Argos are also among the suspected terrorism supporters.
The companies are among a list of 120 companies named by demobilized paramilitaries as financiers of the AUC, which committed more than 130 massacres and displaced millions. While dozens of Colombian congressmen have been imprisoned in what has been called the "parapolitics" scandal, foreign and Colombian businesses who supported the AUC have allegedly been largely left unpunished. (Colombia Reports, Aug. 30)
Coca-Cola has more recently been implicated in human rights abuses in Brazil.