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New York Community Leaders and Occupy Call for the End of Carlos Slim's Monopolistic Practices

Launches Four Day Protest in Front of Saks Fifth Avenue

NEW YORK, Aug. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- New York City community leaders and Occupy Wall Street gathered today to announce joining the growing coalition – Two Countries One Voice -- in protest of Carlos Slim's monopolistic practices. This announcement was made in conjunction with a four-day protest that will begin Tuesday, August 7 in front of Saks Fifth Avenue. Slim, who is the richest man in the world, owns a 16 percent interest in the chain of upscale department stores, in addition to interests in other American institutions.

"Carlos Slim is taking his model he created in Mexico that was built on the backs of the poor charging excessively high prices and providing inadequate service to countries across Latin America and Europe," said Juan Jose Gutierrez, one of the leaders of Two Countries One Voice and the President of Vamos Unidos USA. "We're here today to say enough is enough. We're here today to shine a glaring light on the damage monopolies can have on a country and a people."

"We are calling on the American public to join our efforts and stop shopping at Saks Fifth Avenue as a demonstration of opposition to Carlos Slim's exploitation of the Mexican poor," continued Gutierrez.  

Slim not only refuses to acknowledge the impact he has on the Mexican poor but he has said that the poor in Mexico and Latin America are an opportunity for him and his empire. Specifically in an interview with Larry King in December 2010, King asks, "Is it hard for you to see all the poverty in Mexico?" Slim's response is, "It's hard, but it's -- I am convinced that all this poverty in Mexico and Latin America … is the opportunity to grow."

"Carlos Slim's actions have slowed the growth of the Mexican economy to a crawl. His business practices have made it difficult for millions of people to climb out of poverty, all while he lines his own pockets. He is a corporate monopolist who has taken advantage of our hardworking Mexican brothers and sisters, acquiring his wealth while severely handicapping Mexico's economic development. We can no longer allow Slim's empire to spread while the people of Mexico continue to hurt. His practices cannot be tolerated.  I am proud to join and stand behind this effort," said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

"Slim's practices are like a virus - they continue to spread and multiply causing harm every where it goes," added Aaron Black with Occupy Wall Street. "We can't ignore him, he is aggressively growing his empire and we need to say no more."

This announcement follows a large protest at George Washington University's graduation where Slim was recognized in May. Supporters of Two Countries One Voice came together to be a voice for the voiceless and stand up against Slim's predatory practices. The coalition will continue to protest American institutions and companies that have relationships with Slim.

Carlos Slim's power and fortune is made up primarily from his monopoly on the Latin America telecommunications system with exorbitant prices and inadequate services. Slim's company, America Movil (comprised of Telemex and Telcel), has nearly 80 percent of the total Mexican telecommunications system – from telephone landlines to mobile telephone services, and is moving quickly to take over systems in the Caribbean, Central America, and South America.

According to the January 2012 Organizations for Co-operation and Development (OECD) study, Carlos Slim has price-gouged Mexican customers a total of $13.4 billion from 2005 to 2009 for basic telephone and Internet service. It has been consistently proven throughout developing countries that access to services like mobile banking provides a route out of poverty. According to the OECD study, Mexico has a tremendous poor, rural population that could increase their socio-economic status given access to resources such as broadband.

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 protest will begin Tuesday, August 7th and will continue on through Friday, August 10th.

SOURCE Two Countries One Voice




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