El caso Coca-Cola: Reseña del documental

Hace tiempo que Colombia posee el título de capital mundial de los asesinatos sindicales. Debido al aumento de amenazas contra trabajadores y al asesinato de unos 4.000 sindicalistas en las últimas tres décadas, las prácticas de las corporaciones multinacionales que operan en la Nación Andina comienzan a ser examinadas con mayor rigor.

Durante los últimos diez años, una de esas corporaciones, Coca-Cola, ha sido foco de atención de los activistas que forman parte de la campaña Coca Asesina (Killer-Coke), con base en los Estados Unidos. La Coca-Cola, de la que podría decirse que es la Nike de los refrescos por su marca universal y su sospechosa trayectoria en materia de derechos humanos, se ha convertido recientemente en objeto de un nuevo documental titulado: “El caso Coca-Cola”.

En su viaje por América del Norte, la película atrajo a un gran público, que fue muy numeroso en los campus universitarios. La semana pasada, más de 300 personas asistieron a la Universidad de Nueva York (NYU, por su sigla en inglés), en parte gracias a su filial local de la Coalición para mantener a la Coca-Cola fuera de los campus.

Lamentablemente, a pesar de la gran cantidad de público y promoción, la película, que se esfuerza por enfocarse en un objetivo y tiene una mínima investigación sobre las acusaciones, no impactó demasiado en el espectador. Los directores, Carmen García y Germán Gutiérrez, se concentraron sobre todo en la batalla legal, siguiendo a los abogados estadounidenses Daniel Kovalik y Terry Collingsworth en su lucha para llevar a Coca-Cola a las cortes de los Estados Unidos.

Con la ayuda de la campaña de la Coca Asesina y de su líder, Ray Rogers, Kovalik y Collingsworth recurren a la Ley de Reclamación por Agravios contra Extranjeros (ATCA, por su sigla en inglés) para enjuiciar a Coca-Cola. Entre otros aspectos de la ley, ésta permite a los ciudadanos extranjeros demandar a compañías norteamericanas en las cortes de los Estados Unidos. Gracias al triunfo de unos cuantos casos en los últimos tiempos, la ATCA se ha vuelto cada vez más útil para iniciar acciones legales contra las corporaciones multinacionales por sus prácticas en países extranjeros.

Pero la elección de García y Gutiérrez de concentrarse en la batalla legal resultó ser algo problemática. Se les negó el acceso a las audiencias y a las plantas embotelladoras en Colombia, y tampoco pudieron entrevistar a los representantes de Coca-Cola. Buena parte del documental lo ocupan las reflexiones que hacen los abogados estadounidenses a medida que el caso se prolonga.

Sin embargo, a pesar de sus puntos débiles, la película ha causado cierto revuelo en las oficinas centrales de Coca-Cola. El intento de la compañía de llegar a un acuerdo con los abogados, tal como lo captó la cámara, fue sin dudas sospechoso, aunque no lo suficiente para probar su culpabilidad.

De más está decir que Coca-Cola negó en todo momento cualquier participación en los asesinatos, e incluso intentó que el documental no se distribuyera. Los esfuerzos de Coca-Cola por obstaculizar el estreno, con el argumento de que la película violaba un acuerdo de confidencialidad, fueron inútiles.

Aunque apenas se menciona en la película, la organización de los grupos que impulsan boicots en los campus universitarios ha sido una de las estrategias más exitosas en la campaña contra la Coca. Cerca de 200 universidades han implementado su propia campaña de la Coca Asesina y, en efecto, muchas han logrado prohibir la Coca-Cola en sus recintos.

En 2005, en la NYU, activistas locales contra la Coca presionaron con éxito a la universidad para que prohibiera la venta de esa bebida en el campus. Sin embargo, el año pasado la universidad levantó la prohibición, citando un informe emitido por la Organización Internacional del Trabajo. Pero según los estudiantes, el informe demuestra que nunca se ha iniciado una investigación.

Más allá de los recintos universitarios, la campaña, de gran visibilidad, también atrajo a activistas de todas partes de América del Norte, en tanto que el logo de la Coca Asesina se hizo reconocible también en América Latina. A pesar del apoyo recibido, Kovalik y Collingsworth no pudieron llegar a un acuerdo aceptable para los colombianos. No es precisamente el resultado que hubieran deseado los directores después de tres años de rodaje.

Quizá la película habría sido más efectiva si no se hubiera enfocado tanto en los abusos de Coca-Cola. Para lo que es “una historia de solidaridad internacional” (como se lee en la primera línea), es desacertado que el caso se haya llevado fuera del contexto de la lucha enunciada por el activista colombiano Edgar Páez. “Estamos negociando contra las políticas de los Estados Unidos. Estamos luchando contra el modelo neoliberal”, dijo Páez hacia el final de la película.

Las palabras de Páez estuvieron algo fuera de lugar, dado que los realizadores del documental no intentaron abordar el conflicto más general. Mientras que Kovalik mencionó que solo 5 de los miles de casos de asesinatos han llegado a la justicia, la película pasó por alto el hecho de que el gobierno que permite tal impunidad está financiado por los contribuyentes estadounidenses. Habiendo recibido miles de millones en ayuda militar de los Estados Unidos desde el año 2000, Colombia es el mayor beneficiario de la ayuda externa de los Estados Unidos en la región.

Del mismo modo, tampoco se situó en contexto un comentario hecho por Rogers durante la campaña contra Coca-Cola en la Universidad de Chicago. “Es una connivencia entre el gobierno, que trabaja con los paramilitares, y las grandes corporaciones, para asegurarse de que no exista ningún movimiento de trabajadores o en defensa de los derechos humanos que pueda desafiar su autoridad, desafiar sus ganancias o desafiar su brutalidad”, le dijo a la multitud.

Un comentario bastante fuerte, pero que no estuvo seguido por un análisis de las conexiones entre los grupos paramilitares de derecha y el gobierno colombiano respaldado por los Estados Unidos. Al omitir estos hechos, la película, con o sin intención, mostró a Coca-Cola como un caso aislado.

Como señaló Páez, la lucha contra Coca-Cola no es solamente contra una corporación. Es más bien contra las políticas del gobierno de los Estados Unidos y la economía neoliberal, que amenazan a los trabajadores colombianos. Y si bien las campañas contra las corporaciones son importantes para llevar justicia a estos casos, es solo una parte de la solución que finalmente terminará con la violencia estructural que aqueja a países como Colombia.

Escrito por Lainie Cassel, Traduccion por Nancy Piñeiro

Publicado por El Comité Óscar Romero de Santa Margarida de Montbui

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