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Latino and Community Leaders Call on NBC's Brian Williams to Join in Efforts Demanding GWU Revoke Carlos Slim's Honorary Degree This Sunday

WASHINGTON, May 17, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Amidst growing daily protests at George Washington University, coalition leaders call on NBC's Brian Williams to condemn Carlos Slim's predatory monopolistic practices and join the Latino and community activists who are demanding that George Washington University sever ties and not honor such a man who amassed his fortune on the backs of the Mexican poor.

Juan Jose Gutierrez and Andres Ramirez, coalition leaders for Two Countries One Voice, issued the following statement:

"We call on NBC's Brian Williams to use his commencement address as an opportunity to do the right thing and join us in our demands that George Washington University not honor a modern day robber baron like Carlos Slim. Respected American institutions like GW should not honor a man just because he is the richest man in the world. Carlos Slim is no Warren Buffett or Bill Gates – he did not sign the philanthropic Gates-Buffett Giving Pledge. To say that the University is honoring his philanthropic efforts is offensive to the people who have been gouged billions of dollars every year.

"Brian Williams will be addressing the George Washington University graduates on Sunday and witnessing the University honoring a man who has harmed the people of Mexico and across Latin America with his monopolistic practices. We call on Mr. Williams to join us and demand the University sever ties with Carlos Slim and rescind his honorary degree."  

Thousands of protesters will be on the National Mall during George Washington University's commencement on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. EDT at the 15th Street Knoll (15th and Madison) on the National Mall.

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 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.

SOURCE Two Countries One Voice




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