Nearly 1,000 Latino leaders, students, community activists and concerned citizens from across the United States will descend on the National Mall in Washington D.C. on Sunday, May 20th, 2012 to protest the presentation of Carlos Slim – the richest man in the world – with an honorary degree from George Washington University during its graduation ceremony. The coalition, Two Countries One Voice, is committed to exposing Slim’s monopolistic practices with which he has amassed his fortune.
The coalition sent a letter to George Washington University officials requesting that it sever all ties with Slim and refrain from honoring a man who made his billions on the backs of the Mexican poor. The University declined the request.
This action is just the first of many actions planned to bring attention to Slim’s predatory monopolistic actions and to call on American institutions and corporations to sever ties with Slim.
DATE: Sunday, May 20, 2012
TIME: 9:00 am
WHERE: 15th Street Knoll (15th and Madison)
National Mall, Washington DC WHO: Juan Jose Gutiérrez – Vamos Unidos USA
Andres Ramirez – The Ramirez Group
1,000 Latino leaders, students, and community activists protesting Carlos Slim
BACKGROUND: Carlos Slim’s power and fortune is made up primarily from his monopoly on the Mexican telecommunications system. According to the independent and highly respected Organization for Cooperation and Development (OECD), Slim’s company, America Movil, which controls nearly 80% of the total Mexican telecom, cell and internet industries, charges exorbitant prices and provides inadequate services. Their report also shows that Slim has price-gouged Mexican customers billions of dollars for basic telephone and Internet service. They point out that those specifically and most profoundly affected by these business practices are rural and poor communities.
The impact of Carlos Slim’s monopoly has resulted in Mexico ranking LAST in public investment in telecommunications compared with the 33 other OECD countries while Slim’s company Telemex had a profit margin of 47% - one of the highest of the OECD countries.
The Coalition has 40 more leaders and organizations, and includes a mix of American and Latino community-based organizations. All groups are banding together to give a voice to all those who cannot speak out, and are working to defend them from the tactics being used to make the richest man in the world richer.
“We are honored to have received such solidarity from leaders across the country,” said Andres Ramirez, one of the coalition leaders. “The action taken by these organizations is a signal to Carlos Slim, and any others that may be prospering from the unfair treatment to Mexican citizens, that our communities will not stand by idle.”
Last week, Two Countries One Voice submitted a letter to Steven Knapp, president of George Washington University, requesting a meeting to discuss severing all ties with Slim. Specifically, the Coalition is asking that the University disinvite him from the graduation commencement ceremonies on the National Mall and revoke his honorary degree.
Coalition members include the following leaders who are affiliated with leading organizations:
Chair, Latin Chamber of Commerce (Nevada)
Mario Cardenas President, COFEM
MiguelBarrientos(NV) Radio Host, Asi se Habla Radio
Vicenta Montoya (NV) Founder, Si Se Puede Democratic Caucus
Edgar Flores Familias de Juarez Project
Marco AntonioPacheco President, Casa de la Cultura Maya
Adelita Grijalva (AZ)
Board Member, Tucson University School District
Juan Ortega President, Dream Big Vegas
Art Terrazas New Mexico State University / Hispano Chamber of Commerce