Coca-Cola is delicious. This is what many people who drink the beverage would say if they were not being exploited. Yet, this is not the case in Mexico; in Mexico, citizens, while also being exploited in terms of labor, are indirectly forced to drink Coca-Cola because of the lack of water supply due to Coca-Cola’s use of it. In order to perform such debasing acts, Coca-Cola is affiliated with political parties and advertises extensively throughout Mexico. Thus, in order to make a profit, Coca-Cola exploits the citizens of Mexico by depriving them of water and wages through its connection with the government and advertisements that will inevitably delay Mexico’s advancement in the future.
The citizens of Mexico have been abused with regards to Coca-Cola’s search for a more cost-efficient company.
“Coca-Cola is positioning itself to take control of the water resources of the war-torn Mexican state of Chiapas, say local activists, who complain that the company has pressured local government officials into using preferential zoning laws to allow the privatisation of water resources. Chiapas is rich in water, yet local communities have protested at being denied access to it. The Chiapas-based Centre for Economic and Political Investigations of Community Action (CIEPAC) claims that the Mexican government under Vicente Fox – himself a former President of Coca-Cola Mexico – has given the company concessions to exploit community water resources. Campaigners from around the world have also expressed concern that Coca-Cola is one of the main sponsors of the World Water Forum in Mexico City in March 2006” (Zacune).
Thus, not only is Coca-Cola exploiting the Mexican citizens’ water, but is also associated with the government, which is in full support of such atrocities and the subjugation of its people in terms of profit for Coca-Cola. By allowing such acts to occur, not only is the government becoming corrupt, but so too is society if no one acts to stop Coca-Cola, which is infringing upon the people’s water supply and thus where their money culminates.
As the Mexican citizens lack the water necessary to satisfy their thirst, they revert to purchasing Coca-Cola. This occurs because of “the purchase of water previously belonging to ejidos for Coca-Cola’s private use, depriving indigenous communities of lands and access to water. In the production of bottles alone, Coca-Cola uses the equivalent of the water consumed by 223 families” (Sipaz). Coca-Cola disregards the concern of other families, purchases bottles, and makes use of the water, whether it is to make liters of Coca-Cola or for “the contamination of water and the sale of contaminated water” (Sipaz). This in turn leads people to spend their money on the only form of beverages available, mainly Coca-Cola, as “Mexico has the highest per capita consumption of Coke in the world” (Lydersen). This is evident in that “in indigenous communities, a person spends up to 17.5% of the daily minimum wage on Coca-Cola products” (Sipaz). The lifestyle of a person is dictated by the Coca-Cola Company; the money a person makes is spent on Coca-Cola products due to the indirect cause of Coca-Cola’s consumption of the water, which is approved by the government. Thus, if approximately one-fifth of the money goes towards a single consumer good annually, surely it will have detrimental effects in the future as the economy of Mexico is focusing on mass purchasing rather than mass exportation or the purchasing of goods domestically.
Coca-Cola assumes domination over society through its advertisements and manipulation of stores.
“In San Juan Chamula, Coca-Cola has attained a religious significance, replacing traditional beverages in their sacred cleansing rituals. This love affair with Coke is in part due to the vast amounts of money spent on advertising in Mexico, some 500 million USD annually. In addition, Coca-Cola asserts their hold on the market in more insidious ways, by imposing quotas on small shop owners in return for gifts such as tables, chairs and refrigerators, all emblazoned with the Coca-Cola insignia, of course” (Wooters).
Coca-Cola has finally gotten to the point in which it has intruded upon the cultures of people and changed it. The omnipotence and omnipresence of Coca-Cola has created a society focused on and revolving around this soft drink beverage. This is exemplified by Ms. Chavez and her case against Coca-Cola:
“Big Cola [a newly created rival product from Peru] was instantly popular in Ms. Chavez's deprived suburb as it is significantly cheaper than Coke and the other big name soft drink brands. When a Coca-Cola distributor told Ms. Chavez to remove the product from her shelves, she went to Mexico's Federal Competition Commission…Now three years later, Coca-Cola's Mexican unit - Coca-Cola Export Corporation - and a number of its distributors and bottlers have been hit with fines of $68m” (BBC).
In this case, Coca-Cola is imposing quotas upon this woman in return for Coca-Cola not interfering with her business. Coca-Cola does not want other companies infringing upon their beverages because they want to monopolize the area in Mexico and reap all possible profits, regardless of whom they are antagonizing. Thus, such actions are affecting the society and economy of Mexico by changing it to one concentrated on and dominated by Coca-Cola.
Coca-Cola manages to control the political, social, and economic aspects of society simply through its products and influence to better its quest for profits despite the detrimental current and future effects. The lack of water and the constant appearances of advertisements lead the average Mexican citizen to purchase Coca-Cola products. Such results will result in the government becoming corrupt and affiliated with big businesses; the people in society being dominated by a business rather than a government and; the retardation of the economy. Coca-Cola leaves a bitter taste in the mouths of Mexican citizens where that of sweetness should exist.
"BBC NEWS | Business | Mexican Shopkeeper Defeats Coke." BBC News - Home. BBC, 17 Nov. 2005. Web. 08 May 2011. <http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/4445086.stm>.
"Facts About Chiapas." .:: SIPAZ - International Service for Peace / Servicio Internacional Para La Paz ::::::. Sipaz, 24 Apr. 2010. Web. 08 May 2011. <http://www.sipaz.org/data/chis_en_03.htm>.
Lyderson, Kari. “Coca Cola- Latin America’s Second Religion.” India Resource Center. 28 May 2002. Web. 08 May 2011. <http://www.indiaresource.org/campaigns/coke/2003/cocacolalatinamerica.htm>
Wooters, Monica. "Coca-Cola and Water Resources in Chiapas | Colectivos De Apoyo, Solidaridad Y Acción." Welcome | Colectivos De Apoyo, Solidaridad Y Acción. Creative Commons, Mar. 2008. Web. 08 May 2011. <http://www.casacollective.org/story/newsletter/coca-cola-and-water-resources-chiapas>.
Zacune, Joe. "Coca Cola: The Alternative Report." Waronwant.org. War on Want, Mar. 2006. Web. 08 May 2011. <http://www.waronwant.org/attachments/Coca-Cola%20-%20The%20Alternative%20Report.pdf>.