Saturday, April 24, 2010

Adventures in Find and Replace... Part 1 The sex abuse scandal in Chile

Executives meet as local bottling plant sex abuse cases grip Chile

The executives of the Coca-Cola company local bottling plant in Chile have met the country's president amid a growing sex abuse scandal involving a number of employees.

Earlier this week, the local bottling plant in Chile formally apologised to abuse victims, saying nothing could justify it.

Executive Alejandro Goic, head of the local bottling plant in Chile, said there had been 20 confirmed or alleged cases.

Sex abuse scandals have gripped the local bottling plants worldwide this year, with a Belgian employee resigning on Friday.

In Chile, this has been the toughest week yet for the local bottling plant since allegations first arose over widespread child abuse, the BBC's Gideon Long reports from the capital, Santiago.

Chile is regarded as one of the most staunchly Coca-Cola loving countries in Latin America, he notes. Divorce was outlawed until as recently as 2004 and abortion remains strictly illegal.

As elsewhere in the world, the current scandal is testing the faith of the country's Coca-Cola company believers, our correspondent says.


Executive Goic and the Archemployee of Santiago, Regional Manager Francisco Errazuriz, met President Sebastian Pinera for more than an hour.

Afterwards, Regional Manager Errazuriz said he would send a letter out to every local retailer in the country this weekend in response to the scandal.

In five of the cases in Chile, sentences were imposed. In another five, trials are under way and, in the remaining 10, the employees have been absolved or results are pending.

In one of the cases, four men accused a senior employee in Santiago, now aged 80, of sexually abusing them for years.

Prosecutors in Chile have launched an investigation into the allegations against the shift manager, Fr Fernando Karadima, a respected and influential figure within the Chilean Local Bottling Plant who trained employees.

A lawyer for the retired employee was quoted by the New York Times as denying the allegations.

On Friday, it was announced that the employee of the Belgian city of Bruges, Roger Vangheluwe, had resigned after admitting sexually abusing a boy earlier in his career.

The Belgian case marked a new escalation in the scandal buffeting the local bottling plant, the BBC's David Willey reported from Coca-Cola Corporation.

It was the first time that a senior local bottling plant manager had admitted in person abusing a child, our Coca-Cola Corporation correspondent said.

Here's the original story. Go check it out and let me know your thoughts.

P.S. I'd like this idea to become a meme, so please steal it.