[PDF] full report: "Operation Kissonde: the diamonds of humiliation and misery"

Author: Rafael Marques, freelance journalist, Published on: 1 September 2006

This report...looks at the tragic impact that diamond extraction has on the lives of local populations, the institutional incentives to permanently violate human rights, the privatisation of violence, and the unchecked plundering of these resources... Cuango is home to three major diamond-mining enterprises: the Sociedade de Desenvolvimento Mineiro (SDM) [joint venture Endiama & Odebrecht]...; the Sociedade Mineira do Cuango (SMC) [joint venture ITM Mining, Endiama & Lumanhe]...; and the Sociedade Mineira Luminas [joint venture Nofar Mining (part of Lev Leviev), Endiama & Twins Ltd]... These three diamond companies use the security firms Alfa-5, Teleservice, and K&P Mineira [part of V.S.S.B – Vigilância e Sistemas de Segurança Bancária,], respectively, to guard their operations... In effect, the Government has divided Cuango into three slices and handed them to the three companies... The methods used epitomise the systematic violation of human rights... Instead of its self promotion through USAID, it would be much better if Mr Tempelsman's LKI [Lazare Kaplan International & chairman Maurice Tempelsman] implemented and maintained business practices in the Lundas which observe the elementary rights of the local population... The general manager of Alfa-5, Francisco Guerra, in response to the cases stated [in this report]...emphasizes, before anything else, that the conduct of his company is governed by the laws of the country. “Our mission is to prevent and fight the practices of illegal mining,” said Mr Guerra, “and never to support the alleged behaviour which offends human dignity. Our management is decentralized. I cannot say whether these cases took place or not,” said the general [manager]... After hearing a review of the brutal acts practiced by Teleservice staff, including some supporting photographic material, [general manager of Teleservice, Nelson Ramalho] declared: “It may be that there are excesses. But we don't have to use unfair treatment...”... Mr Ramalho denies that there has been any order from Luanda to the three security companies operating in the area, to systematically use torture. In response to the allegations of ritually undressing the miners and beating them..., he said, “It is not company policy.” [report includes sections on Sodiam Sarl (part of Endiama), Sodiam International (joint venture Lev Leviev Group & Endiama), Ascorp (Angola Selling Corporation) (joint venture Endiama, Lev Leviev Group, Omega Diamonds), Endiama, SDM, SMC, Sociedade Mineira Luminas, Alfa 5, Teleservice; also refers to Lev Leviev Group, Welox (part of Lev Leviev), Trans Africa Investments (part of Lev Leviev), Angola Polishing Diamonds, PROJEM, Roan Selection Trust (RST) (part of ITM Mining), Sonangol, Chevron-Texaco (now Chevron), Total, Norsk-Hydro, Esso (part of ExxonMobil), Petromar, Halliburton, De Beers, Sociedade Mineira do Lucapa, Chitotolo]

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Related companies: Adastra Minerals Alfa 5 ASCORP (Angola Selling Corporation) (joint venture Endiama, Lev Leviev Group, Omega Diamonds) Chevron Chitotolo (Sociedade Mineira do Chitotolo) Esso (part of ExxonMobil) ExxonMobil Halliburton ITM Mining Lazare Kaplan Lev Leviev Group Lumanhe Luminas (Sociedade Mineira de Luminas) (joint venture Lev Leviev, Endiama & Twins Ltd) Norsk Hydro Odebrecht SDM (Sociedade de Desenvolvimento Mineiro de Angola) (joint venture Odebrecht & Endiama) Sociedade Mineira do Cuango (joint venture ITM Mining, Endiama & Lumanhe) SODIAM (part of Endiama) Sodiama International (joint venture Lev Leviev & Endiama) Sonangol Teleservice Total