Iraq contractors tap Latin America's needy

Author: Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times, Published on: 28 January 2008

..."I take pills to help me sleep," Gregorio Calixto says...In the United States, Calixto might be under treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder from his time in Iraq...Here [in Peru] he's an unemployed street vendor...struggling to recover physically and emotionally from severe shrapnel wounds. He is one of several thousand Latin Americans who have taken jobs with U.S. contractors as security guards in Iraq and Afghanistan. About 1,200 Peruvians are in Iraq...Chileans, Colombians, Salvadorans and Hondurans have also [gone]...Although most appear to have returned to Latin America safely...others...have been...seriously injured in Iraq and left to negotiate a labyrinthine and what he terms inadequate U.S. insurance system...Triple Canopy says no foreign national working for the firm has been killed in Iraq but declined to provide data on Latin Americans injured there. Two company officials who asked not to be named, however, said about a dozen Peruvian guards had been injured by "indirect fire"...[also refers to Blackwater]

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Related companies: Blackwater Triple Canopy