Coca-Cola is most infamously associated with Colombia for its absolutely atrocious human rights violations. These include kidnapping, torturing, or even murdering the leaders of workers’ unions. There have also been instances of violence in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Russia, Turkey, Peru, and Chile.
Murder and torture have of course eclipsed environmental issues in Colombia. But the company’s environmental crimes are better documented in India and Ecuador, where wastewater from Coca-Cola plants has contaminated local ecosystems. Wells in India have also been depleted, stealing water supplies from Indians and Indian agriculture for corporate use.
Coca-Cola also contributed to deforestation in Colombia by clearing much of the rainforest for coca cultivation starting in the 1970s. This caused a decline in biodiversity and an increase in air pollution from the common slash and burn method of forest destruction. The pesticides used to grow coca also have very harmful effects on the environment by contaminating groundwater, creating algae blooms and killing vital insects.
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