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Why is Coca-Cola allowed to bottle 300,000 gallons of water per day in a city that does not have enough clean tap water for its residents to drink?
Lack of water. What does it mean to you? Not watering the lawn? Shortened showers? Carry bottled water? For the residents of San Cristóbal de las Casas, Mexico, it means drinking Coca-Cola, almost exclusively. And it is causing as much devastation as the actual water shortage.
In this mountain city, some residents only have running water a few times a week, forcing them to buy water from tanker trucks for daily use. With rapid urbanization, crumbling infrastructure, and climate change testing the wells that once hydrated the entire city, clean drinking water is increasingly becoming a rarity.
Without a wastewater treatment plant, raw wastewater flows directly into your precious waterways, contaminating them with potential pathogens. However, the local Coca-Cola plant, owned by Mexican beverage giant Femsa, is allowed to legally extract 300,000 gallons of clean water from the city each day to be colored, sweetened and turned into sodas, leaving less for residents. live.
With so much pressure on the local water supply, what do residents mainly drink? Sodas. The local bottling plant has made soft drinks more plentiful and as cheap as bottled water. As a result, the residents of this Chiapas city tend to drink approximately 2 liters of Coca-Cola each day.
And with sneaky advertisements manipulating residents to drink more and more sodas instead of water, large numbers of people are falling ill.
Diabetes in the southern city of Mexico increased by 30% between 2013 and 2016. The preventable disease now causes 3,000 deaths each year, a significant portion of the population of less than 200,000 people. It is the second leading cause of death in the small town and affects almost all families.
San Cristóbal de las Casas residents protest, but Coca-Cola executives refuse to accept the blame.
According to the New York Times, a Femsa executive “rejected criticism that the company's beverages have had a negative impact on public health. Mexicans, he said, may have a genetic tendency toward diabetes. "
Coca-Cola and Femsa would have you believe that there is nothing wrong with drinking two liters of soda every day, and that it definitely does not cause diabetes.
According to the local activist, Martín López López, in a statement, “Coca-Cola is abusive, manipulative. They take our pure water, dye it and deceive you on television saying it is the spark of life. Then they take the money and leave.
While the plant contributes to the local economy, a little economic stimulation is not worth losing thousands of lives each year. Humans need clean water to drink. No human should be manipulated or forced to consume more soda than water.
By: Jordyn Cormier
Original article (In English)