Sunday, May 8, 2011

Coca Cola Company: Mexican Economic Tyrant

            The Coca-Cola Company is a worldwide soft drink giant that sells and earns profits in almost every major country in the world.  However, the company does not always conduct their business fairly and often earns great profits at the expense of many people in lesser developed countries.  One of these is Mexico, in which Coke has caused political, social and economic disturbances.  The reason Coke creates these disturbances is to maintain their own economic permanence and profits in the Mexican economy, and the future reprocussions will be the establishment of the Coca Cola as a political and economic dictator that will cause the development of society to slow and eventually come to a stand still.
            The Coca Cola Company has abused the people, workers and government of Mexico and has eliminated any opposition in order to maintain their own dominance.  Coca Cola ruthlessly removes anything or anybody that might be a hindrance, whether it is competing companies or loyal employees, just to bring in the most revenue.  This is prevalent in the cases of Angel Alvarado and Raquel Chavez.  Mr. Alvarado was a loyal employee of the Coca Cola Company, who “was being forced to resign because he refused an order from his boss that violated the company's code of conduct and Mexican law.”  An armed guardsman stood at the door as Mr. Alvarado signed the resignation.  (  Before this, Mr. Alvarado had been deprived of task workers and also denied profit sharing under Mexican law.  Another example of unfair economic activity is when Coca Cola told Raquel Chavez to stop selling Big Cola, a Peruvian competitor to Coca Cola. “In 2003, her customers began asking for rival "Big Cola," which had begun cutting into Coke's market with lower prices. Coke told her to get rid of the brand, but she refused.”  Sixty-eight million dollars worth of fines have been placed on coca cola for its monopolistic practices.  Coke has conducted all of these ill practices all for the purpose of economic tyranny and the highest profits.
            In addition to economic crimes, Coca cola has also corrupted Mexico’s political systems.  Before 2000, the caciques, or political elites who control the soft drink industry, would provide store owners with free Coke, under the condition that they would support the candidate of the PRI or the Institutionalized Revolutionary Party that the cacique preferred.  However, even though this trend was broken when Vicente Fox of the PAN or the National Action Party won the 2000 election, he had previously worked for Coca Cola as president of the Latin American sector of the company.  (Bell)  This is most likely far from coincidence and shows that Coke can even shift the power from one political party to another should they choose to.  The lasting results of this will be an economic dictatorship in Mexico, with there being a political figure head carrying out the orders and wishes of the Coca Cola Company, who will remain “behind the scenes”.  This is highly detrimental as it will give incentive to other economic giants that they can maintain permanence in a market by establishing political control.  This would be highly destructive to societal development, seeing as how no progress would be made as long as the company in control is extracting revenue.
            Finally, Coca Cola has ingrained itself in the social roots of Mexican society.  It is hard to find anywhere in Mexico where Coca Cola is not heavily advertised, even in schools.  Here is an example:
In a note from Xaviera Cabada Barron, Asistente General of El Poder Del Consumidor, she wrote, "Here's the pictures I told you about. The first two pictures are from inside a school in Chilapa Guerrero. You can see the basketball court with the same colors of Coke and behind all the propaganda in the cafeteria. The last two pictures are about the summer camp they organized for the kids. Years ago Coke had said that they were not going to do any propaganda to children under 12. I guess Mexico is the exception."  ( 
This heavy advertising ingrains Coca Cola as a natural part of people’s lives and leaves them unwilling to protest the control because of this indoctrination.  This further enhances the tyrannical nature of the Coca Cola Company and serves as a catalyst towards the previously described situation of complete political and economic supremacy by the Coca Cola Company. 
            Coca Cola has a dangerous amount of influence in Mexican politics, market, and even daily lives of ordinary people.  This will eventually cause the company to assume a status of complete authority in all spectrums of the civilization if left unchecked.  Should Coca Cola assume this position, the society’s growth will be halted as long as the company comes out ahead in their sales.  Action must be taken both inside of Mexico as well as from outside authorities and citizens, such as those of the United States and other Latin American countries, in order to reverse this horrific process and return the Coca Cola company to its place as a fair competitor with others in the soft drink industry. 
Vincent Viola


  1. There are many excellent points about the harsh effects of Coca Cola in Mexico. However, it is debatable whether Coca Cola will become a dictator in Mexico. Although this company has gotten involved in politics, it does not seem to be interested in completely controlling the country's policies, only in influencing the Mexican people to buy their product. Instead, Coca Cola may soon emerge as a modern-day imperial company. Coca Cola can be compared to England during the colonial period in the New World. Products such as raw cotton were shipped to England and then sold back to the colonists as clothing and other products. Similarly, Coca Cola is taking Mexico's water, making it into soft drinks, and selling it back to the Mexicans. If Coca Cola rises to this imperialistic power status, it will not only control Mexico's economy, but would then begin to financially manipulate other weak countries, draining them of their natural resources, as well. This could possibly also set the precedent for other large corporations that are similar to Coca Cola to manipulate other weaker countries to the colonial status.

    It is very true that Coca Cola manipulates Mexico through those in power, by using the caciques to influence elections and to advertise the Coca Cola brand name everywhere. Coca Cola may be able to influence caciques through incentives such as free products, but there will be a point where the political candidates will stop accepting these perks. Obviously, it will take at least a decade before the social and economic impacts become a true crisis, but when it is realized, someone will need to take action against Coca Cola to prevent Coca Cola from completely ruining Mexico, financially and socially.

    Liz Newton

  2. The issues of monopolization, intervention in government, and advertisements are all addressed. The elimination of competitors does seem to lead to a market dominance by Coca-Cola. Its intervention in government and worker affairs causes destabilization in both aspects; the government is corrupt due to its affiliation with Coca-Cola while the people are oppressed and subjugated, bending to the will of Coca-Cola. Advertisements affect the people by its reoccurrence, leading people to believe that it is the norm to be dominated as such and a common product to be attained.

    Yet, the issue of the water supply is not addressed. Coca-Cola, though it has an affiliate in government and is affiliated with parties, is influential upon decisions itself. In terms of water, Coca-Cola has influenced the government to allow it to extract water for its products and is knowingly selling contaminated water to the Mexican citizens. This, in turn, leads to an indirect forcing by Coca-Cola for the people to purchase their products as they have no alternative; such purchases are approximately one-fifth of their wages, which is also a contributing factor to the destruction of the economy.

    Paul Popa

  3. It is definite in saying that if this cycle continues, Coca-Cola will control all aspects of economics within Mexico; however, to predict that the government will become an economic dictatorship where Coca-Cola's orders are being carried out by a representative is not necessarily probable in the future. If Coca-Cola were to become dictator of the Mexican government, the company would have more on their hands than simply the selling of the Coke product. If this were to happen, it is likely that constant revolt would plague the government because of Coca-Cola's injustices. Although at this moment, Coca-Cola is performing many unjust monopolistic actions, it is purely to influence consumption. The minute managing the oppressed Mexican people outweighs the consumption of the product, Coca-Cola will find itself losing profits and trying to return to the period of control they are in right now. It is important to remember that this exploitation has been ongoing for about twenty-five years. Coca-Cola is in perfect position to continue to influence the selling of the Coke product through political leaders and not necessarily take on the position of full management of the nation. As stated in Coca-Cola's mission statement, the company is all about becoming "the best marketers in the world" ("Coca-Cola Marketing Strategies"). They are currently exploiting enough countries to take full control over Mexico in an economic dictatorship.
    Overall, this essay displays good understanding of each issue within the exploitation of Mexico: political, economic, and social. Mass advertising is a major social issue that does indeed ingrain Coca-Cola into Mexiccan society. This picture further supports the claim.,-Juarez,-Chihuahua,-Mexico.

    Brian Feliciano (forgot name in above comment)

  4. All points made in the essay are valid. Although it is possible for the Mexican government to act as a puppet controlled by the Coca-Cola Company, predicting it will turn into a dictatorship is extreme. The heavy advertisement were good examples of Coca-Cola's dominance in the lives of the Mexican people and showcases how much of an influence they had. All issues were addressed backed up by a sufficient evidence. Overall, the essay brought up good points about Coca-Cola's growing influence in Mexican society, government, and economy.

    Jenna Anne Chan

  5. It is by no means certain that Coca Cola will assume a position of dictator of Mexico through manipulating the authority of the current president acting as a figure head. Yet, the continued reckless monopolistic policies of the Coca Cola Company are sure to bring the country to economic ruin and have highly detrimental effects on the health of the people. If this occurs, the Mexican people will most likely take drastic measures, such as a rebellion against Coca Cola, or a nation-wide boycott to force out the oppressive company. At this point, the Coca Cola Company would be also be forced to take emergency action. They would either be forced to abandon their Mexican holdings, along with many other Latin American subdivisions, or they would have to take responsibility for their crimes against the Mexican people and for ruining their economy. The only way this could be accomplished is by assuming control for a period of time and get the economy back up and running. While this is an extreme hassle, it would not be very profitable for Coke to abandon their Mexican holdings, considering that Mexico is the second largest worldwide consumer of Coca Cola after the US. And as has also been mentioned before, Coca Cola is all about making the profit. Therefore it would be faced with a tough decision, which could potentially lead to complete government takeover by Coca Cola. There are a variety of possibilities, this is one of them.

    On the subject of water and abuse of water resources, these issues cannot even be addressed until the Mexican market is freed from the monopolistic control of Coca Cola. Even if Coca Cola did not use so much of Mexico’s water resources, and it could be used for bottled clean drinking water, who would buy it? The Coca Cola Company would continue to assert its power in the economy to lower its prices far below that of the new bottled water company. Even if there were fresh drinking water to be put in bottles and sold, this new company would be in no position to compete with Coca Cola and would soon lose out to Coca Cola, either through price wars or through pressure from Coca Cola on store owners not to sell this water. Thus a more pressing issue is wresting the beverage economy from the tight gripped hands of the Coca Cola Company.

    Vincent Viola