MAC: Mines and Communities


Published by MAC on 2001-05-01


[1] "Report of the Secretary General Regarding the Act of Self-Determination in West Irian," UN Doc. A/7723, 6 November 1969, Annex 1, para. 251.

[2] See the critique of transmigration in Mortgaging the Earth: The World Bank, Environmental Impoverishment, and the Crisis of Development, B. Rich, Beacon Press, Boston, 1994, pp. 34-38.

[3] See, for example, "Development Aggression: Observations on Human Rights Conditions in the PT Freeport Indonesia Contract of Work Areas With Recommendations," Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights, Washington, July 2002; "Mission to Indonesia and East Timor on the Issue of Violence Against Women, Report of the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, its Causes and Consequences," UN Economic and Social Council, E/CN.4/1999/68/Add.3 (January 21, 1999); "Report of the Visit of the Working Group to Indonesia (January 31 to February 12, 1999)," UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, UN Economic and Social Council, E/CN.4/2000/4/Add.2 (July 5, 1999); "Results of Monitoring and Investigating of Five Incidents at Timika and One Incident at Hoea, Irian Jaya During October 1994-June 1995," National Human Rights Commission of Indonesia, Jakarta, September 1995; "Violations of Human Rights in the Timika Area of Irian Jaya, Indonesia," Catholic Church of Jayapura, 1995; "Human Rights Violations and Disaster in Bela, Alama, Jila and Mapnduma," Indonesian Evangelical Church (Mimika, Irian Jaya), the Catholic Church Three Kings Parish (Timika, Irian Jaya), and the Christian Evangelical Church of Mimika, 1998; "Incidents of Military Violence Against Indigenous Women in Irian Jaya (West Papua), Indonesia," RFK Center for Human Rights and the Institute for Human Rights Studies and Advocacy, Washington/Jayapura, 1999; LEMASA, "The Amungme Tribal Council's Resolution on the 50th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its Implementation on Papuan Soil," Timika, December 10, 1998; Survival International, "Rio Tinto Critic Gagged," Survival International, London, 1998; Robert Bryce, "Plaintiffs in Freeport Suit Are Harassed," Austin Chronicle, September 27, 1996; and LEMASA, "The Indonesian Armed Forces in Timika Forcefully Took Away the People's Document," Timika, August 14, 1996; and "Timika: Where's Mama?" Tempo, Regions 27/I, March 13-19, 2001.

[4] For details, see "Repressive Mining in West Papua," A. Abrash and D. Kennedy, in Moving Mountains: Communities Confront Mining and Globalization, Mineral Policy Institute and Otford Press, Sydney, 2001.

[5] US Overseas Private Investment Corporation, Letter to Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc., Washington, October 10, 1995.

[6] National Human Rights Commission of Indonesia, "Results of Monitoring and Investigating of Five Incidents at Timika and One Incident at Hoea, Irian Jaya During October 1994-June 1995," Jakarta, 1995. In addition, commissioners involved in the investigation have called it incomplete for failing to examine involvement in the violations by Freeport itself. See "Freeport's Involvement has not yet been Investigated," Kompas, 2 October 1995 (English translation of original in Bahasa Indonesia; source: TAPOL).

[7] TPN is the Tentara Pembebasan Nasional or National Liberation Army; OPM is the Organisasi Papua Merdeka or Free Papua Organization. First as the OPM and then adopting the TPN title, these small regionally based freedom fighter units have been waging low-level defense activities aimed at pushing the Indonesian armed forces out of Papua. The units, armed mainly with traditional bows, arrows and spears, have no history of TPN/OPM killings of foreigners of European descent.

[8] In an interview with a researcher, former Indonesian Minister of Defense Juwono Sudarsono confirmed that "elements within the military had incited the unrest experienced by Freeport in order to highlight the benefits of their presence." See "Trifungsi: The Role of the Indonesian Military in Business," L. McCulloch, presented to The International Conference on Soldiers in Business: Military as an Economic Actor, Bonn International Center for Conversion, Jakarta, 2000. See also, Appendix V, "Final Report: Amungme Baseline Study." Universitas Cenderawasih-Australian National University Baseline Studies Project, Universitas Cenderawasih and the Australian National University, 1998.

[9] Maj. Gen. Mahidi Simbolon, who assumed the position of commander of the Trikora military command in Jayapura in January 2001, is a member of Kopassus, the army's elite commandos. He has had no fewer than six tours of duty in East Timor, starting with Operasi Seroja, the invasion of the territory in December 1975. Like all Kopassus officers serving in East Timor, Simbolon played an active role in SGI, the special Kopassus unit designed for counter-insurgency, whose local command posts were used to torture captured East Timorese. He graduated from the military academy in 1974. He and many of his class-mates have distinguished themselves as 'East Timor veterans' whose military careers have been greatly enhance by their many operational tours of duty in East Timor.

Simbolon led the unit that arrested Timorese resistance leader, Xanana Gusmao (now President of East Timor), in 1992, for which Simbolon was given a special promotion from major to colonel. The climax of his East Timor experience came in 1995 when he served for two years as commander of the Wira Dharma Korem in charge of East Timor. Then, until 1999, he was chief of staff at the Udayana military command based in Bali, the command in overall control of East Timor. The Udayana commander at that time was the notorious Major-General Adam Damiri. It was during the commandership of these two generals in Bali that Operasi Sapu Jagad, was launched, an operation whose main purpose was to create, recruit and finance the many militia units that spearheaded the army's campaign of violence before, during and after the UN-supervised ballot. This operation was responsible for the widespread destruction and killings of hundreds of civilians that climaxed in September 1999, after the ballot result was announced on 4 September. One of the militia units, Mahidi, an acronym meaning 'dead or alive with integration', was actually named after Simbolon.

In the wake of the Indonesian military's November 2001 assassination of nonviolent Papuan leader Theys Eluay and other severe human rights violations, all signs suggest that Simbolon's command in Papua has resulted in an intensification of the use of intelligence operations which he practiced during his many years of service in East Timor.

[10] Rumors about vampire sightings, spread amongst local community members, have presaged other violent military attacks in Indonesia and appear to be a psychological operations tactic designed to create an atmosphere of terror and to destabilize communities in advance of a specific military operation. For example, rumors of a vampire sighting spread throughout the Papuan town of Abepura in the week preceding Kopassus personnel's assassination of Papuan leader Theys Eluay on November 10, 2001.

[11] Laskar Jihad is a radical Muslim group that has carried out extreme acts of violence against Christians in Indonesia's Maluku province, reportedly with the backing of the Indonesian military; the Red and White (Merah Putih) militias are similar to the pro-Jakarta militias established in East Timor by the Indonesian military prior to the 1999 independence referendum there and which unleashed a violent onslaught against civilians, killing hundreds and destroying an estimated two-thirds of the territory's infrastructure. The Satgas Pam is a 550-member unit, comprised of personnel from the Indonesian Army, Navy, Air Force, and Police, that is tasked with guarding Freeport's mining operation. The Satgas Pam reports directly to armed forces commanders in Jakarta.

[12] Mr. Murib is currently under police witness protection in the provincial capital of Jayapura.

[13] Mr. Green is a former military staffer at the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, reportedly with connections to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.

[14] Mr. Linturan gained notoriety in 1994-95, during the period of the military's intensified human rights violations against indigenous Papuans in the Freeport operations area. He is widely acknowledged to have worked closely with the military in carrying out those attacks, and as a result of community protests, Freeport management transferred him to PT Freeport Indonesia's Jakarta office. He now has been promoted to the position of PT Freeport Indonesia's Security Manager.

[15] Early in August 2002, Papua provincial police commander I Made Pastika had announced the launch of Operation Adil Matoa, widely understood to be part of the Indonesian central government's stated aim of cracking down on "separatists."

[16] SP stands for Satuan Pemukiman or Settlement Unit. SPs are transmigration sites.

[17] Along with the highland Amungme community, one of the two indigenous Papuan tribes who were the original landowners in the area and who have since been internally displaced by Freeport's mining operations. Kamoro and Amungme community leaders have protested against Freeport's operations on their lands for decades, including petition letters to and meetings with Freeport senior management, Indonesian civil and military authorities, U.S. government executive and legislative branch officials, United Nations personnel, and Freeport shareholders and financial backers. The communities also joined in two 1996 lawsuits brought by community leaders Tom Beanal and Yosepha Alomang against Freeport in the U.S. federal and Louisiana state court systems, respectively.

[18] See statement of Paul Murphy, then-Vice-President of Freeport Indonesia, quoted in Matt Richards, Freeport in Indonesia: Reconciling Development and Indigenous Rights, Report on a Public Forum at the Gorman House Arts Centre, Australian Council for Overseas Aid, Canberra,1996.

[19] See the Open Secrets Database of the Center for Responsive Politics, online at: The website lists campaign contributions by Political Action Committees, soft-money donors, and individuals giving US$200 or more. Lisa Sumi at the Environmental Mining Council of British Columbia compiled the figures regarding the U.S. mining industry contributions.

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