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8 April, 2010 — North American Congress on Latin America

Coca-Cola Sued for ‘Campaign of Violence’ in Guatemala
by Lisa Skeen
On February 25, José Armando Palacios and José Alberto Vicente Chávez, along with their families, filed a lawsuit against the Coca-Cola Company in the New York State Supreme Court. The company is accused of allowing its bottling and processing plants in Guatemala to engage in a campaign of violence against the two men, both prominent union leaders. Though Coke claims the U.S. legal system is being manipulated, the prosecution maintains that Guatemala’s courts, rife with impunity, are incapable of delivering justice.

NGOs and the Business of Poverty in Haiti
by Kevin Edmonds
No other country in the world has more non-governmental organizations (NGOs) per capita as Haiti. After the January 12 earthquake these NGOs received the bulk of the global relief funds, while the Haitian government, regularly accused of corruption by the U.S. State Department, has remained marginalized in the recovery and rebuilding efforts. This leaves a country where unelected organizations, unaccountable to the Haitian people, are calling the shots and accused of profiting from the poverty they are entrusted to fight.

Update: Communitarian Socialism in Bolivia
by Roger Burbach
When Bolivia’s president, Evo Morales, was sworn in to a second term in January, he proclaimed Bolivia a plurinational state that would construct “communitarian socialism.” In an accompanying address, Vice President Álvaro Garcia Linera, envisioned a “socialist horizon” for Bolivia, characterized by “well-being, making the wealth communal, drawing on our heritage . . .” The process “will not be easy, it could take decades, even centuries, but it is clear that the social movements cannot achieve true power without implanting a socialist and communitarian horizon.”

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