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Peru: UN mission probes private security firms (focusing on Forza), calls for more regulation to prevent human rights abuses

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Article
7 February 2007

UN Mission Probes Private Security Groups

Author: Ángel Páez, IPS

Chaired by Colombian expert Amada Benavides, the U.N. working group on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the rights of peoples to self-determination visited Peru from Jan. 29 to Feb. 2 as part of its mandate to investigate security firms that recruit mercenaries and violate human rights. The working group gathered information on more than 1,000 former members of the Peruvian military and police hired by private security companies which offered them contracts that do not comply with international standards, and sent them to Iraq and Afghanistan. It also investigated the case of Father Marco Antonio Arana, a Catholic priest who heads a grassroots human rights and environmental movement. Arana has reported harassment by the Forza company, contracted by the powerful Yanacocha mining corporation [owned by Newmont and Compañia de Minas Buenaventura]...But Forza denied any link to "Operación El Diablo" or to C&G Investigaciones...Benavides told IPS that "We are worried about the involvement of security companies in cases of intimidation of defenders of environmental rights and in conflicts between the local population and mining companies."...

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Article
5 February 2007

[DOC] UN working group on the use of mercenaries concludes visit to Peru

Author: UN working group on the use of mercenaries

The Working Group...met with other sectors of Peruvian civil society, including...a broad range of non-governmental organizations, private security companies, individuals and the media...The Working Group expresses its concern at reports concerning the recruitment and training of hundreds of Peruvians by private security companies to perform security functions in Iraq and Afghanistan...The Working Group has also received information from various sources concerning contractual irregularities, poor working conditions, including overcrowding, excessive working hours, partial or non-payment of salaries, ill-treatment and isolation, and neglect of basic needs such as health and hygiene...[T]he Working Group...[also] received allegations that private security groups or police officers engaged in private security work are involved in a series of actions by to intimidate the population, and in particular environmental rights defenders in the Cajamarca region. [also refers to Gun Supply SAC]

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Article
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Author: Chrystelle Barbier, Le Monde

...[Un] groupe de travail des Nations unies chargé d'identifier les manifestations et tendances liées au mercenariat...dénonce les irrégularités dans les contrats, les mauvaises conditions de travail et les paiements incertains dont sont victimes ceux qui sont ainsi envoyés en Irak ou en Afghanistan... [Les] membres des Nations unies...fustigent l'absence de contrôle des entreprises de sécurité... Au Pérou, on ne sait pas vraiment ce que sont devenus les hommes partis à Bagdad. Au moins deux d'entre eux sont morts depuis 2005. [fait référence à Triple Canopy]

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Author: Ángel Páez, IPS

Presidido por la colombiana Amada Benavides, el Grupo de Trabajo de la ONU (Organización de las Naciones Unidas) sobre uso de mercenarios estuvo en Perú entre el 29 de enero y 2 de este mes en cumplimiento de su mandato de investigar la conducta de compañías de seguridad que reclutan a este tipo de combatientes, así como a aquellas que, en el marco de sus servicios privados de seguridad, afectan los derechos humanos. En el primer caso, el Grupo de Trabajo recogió información sobre más de un millar de peruanos trasladados a Iraq y a Afganistán por intermedio de compañías privadas que les ofrecieron contratos que no cumplen con estándares internacionales. En el segundo caso, la misión recogió la historia del sacerdote católico Arana, quien denunció acoso de la empresa Forza, contratista de la influyente minera Yanacocha [parte de Newmont y Buenaventura], que explota uno de los yacimientos de oro más grandes del mundo en la noroccidental región de Cajamarca...Pero Forza negó cualquier relación con la "Operación El Diablo" y con C&G Investigaciones.

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