MAC: Mines and Communities

Freeport paid Indonesian military US$5.6m in 'protection money'

Published by MAC on 2003-03-13

Freeport paid Indonesian military US$5.6m in 'protection money'

The Jakarta Post [online]

March 13, 2003

Jakarta (JP): The U.S. Freeport company paid the Indonesian military (TNI) about US$5.6 million last year to protect employees of its giant copper and gold mine in Papua province, according to a report released Thursday.

The TNI, which is combating a sporadic and low-level separatist revolt in Papua, has been accused of widespread abuses in the province, including the killing of pro-independence leader Theys Eluay.

Freeport-McMoran Copper et Gold Inc disclosed the figure in a confidential document sent to the New York City comptroller's office and to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, said the report by AFX Global Ethics Monitor, a new service from AFP.

Freeport also said that in 2001 it paid the military $4.7 million for the employment of about 2,300 "Indonesian government security personnel".

The money covered costs for housing, fuel, travel and vehicle repairs for the military, Freeport wrote in the document.

It also paid 400,000 dollars in 2002 for "associated infrastructure" in Indonesia, according to the document.

It said Freeport filed the document in response to a shareholder resolution filed by a group of New York's public pension funds earlier this year.

This requests more information about Freeport's presence in Indonesia because of allegations of human rights abuses by the military.

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