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CorpWatch Exclusives

Serco Paid Millions Over Budget for West Australia Hospital with No Patients
by Fatima HansiaCorpWatch Blog
March 11th, 2014
Some 230 staff are being paid to work at the new Fiona Stanley Hospital in West Australia, even though it will not open to patients till March 2015. The project has been labeled a “privatization disaster” and Serco, the contractor, has come under fire for the soaring costs.

Rurelec Wins Compensation for Bolivia Nationalization, But Little Profit
by Richard SmallteacherCorpWatch Blog
February 10th, 2014
Bolivia has been ordered to pay $41 million to Rurelec, a UK energy company, in compensation for nationalizing the Guaracachi power plant in May 2010. The order represents a small profit for Rurelec which bought a 50.1 percent stake in 2006 but substantially less than what the company demanded.

Spanish Consortium Threatens to Stop Panama Canal Expansion
by Pratap ChatterjeeCorpWatch Blog
January 6th, 2014
Sacyr, the Spanish construction giant, has threatened to halt work on the expansion of the Panama canal unless it is paid an extra $1.6 billion. The company leads a consortium that won the 2009 contract after bidding to do the job for $1.1 billion less than the next bidder.

Police Attack Palm Oil Protestors in Sierra Leone
by Richard SmallteacherCorpWatch Blog
December 10th, 2013
Sierra Leone police opened fire on a group of protestors who were demonstrating against a palm oil plantation in the southern province of Pujehun. The project is being developed by Societe Financiere des Caoutchoucs (Socfin), a French agri-business giant.

U.S. Security Checks Contractor Has Record of Rushing Investigations
by Pratap ChatterjeeCorpWatch Blog
September 27th, 2013
U.S. Investigations Services (USIS), the company that signed off on a background check into Aaron Alexis, the military contractor who shot 12 people dead on a U.S. Navy base in Washington DC last week, has a record of rushing investigations, according to a number of former employees.

Privatization Profiteers from Pinochet’s Chile May Yet Face Prison
by Pratap ChatterjeeCorpWatch Blog
September 17th, 2013
Julio Ponce, the billionaire owner of Sociedad Quimica & Minera de Chile (SQM), faces ten years in prison for insider trading. A beneficiary of former dictator General Augusto Pinochet, Ponce is charged with buying company shares at below market prices and selling them at a profit.

Sierra Leone Farmers Evicted for Sugarcane Biofuel Plantations
by Jennifer KennedyCorpWatch Blog
March 5th, 2013
Addax Bioenergy, a Swiss energy company, is jeopardizing the livelihoods of thousands of subsistence farmers in order to export ethanol made from sugarcane grown in Sierra Leone, according to the Sierra Leone Network on the Right to Food and Brot Für Alle, an NGO based in Switzerland.

Capita Bungles Deportation of Irregular Migrants in UK
by Lily SmithCorpWatch Blog
February 18th, 2013
Capita, a UK outsourcing company, sent text messages to thousands of people in the UK, asking them to leave the country, as part of a privatized deportation scheme. Unfortunately hundreds of people that they targeted were in the country legally.

Contractors Alleged to Abuse Alcohol, Drugs, Guns at Parties In Afghanistan
by Puck LoCorpWatch Blog
November 14th, 2012
Jorge Scientific Corporation, a military contractor with nearly a billion dollars in U.S. government contracts, is being sued by former employees for “shocking misconduct” in Afghanistan. The charges include illegal and reckless use of firearms, abusing alcohol and drugs and billing the government for property destroyed during raucous parties.

Indigenous Protestors Against Guatemala Energy Company Targeted
by Jennifer KennedyCorpWatch Blog
November 10th, 2012
Six demonstrators were killed and dozens injured when the Guatemalan military fired into a group of indigenous Maya-K'iche' gathered on the Inter-American highway to protest rising electricity charges from Energuate, a major national power company owned by a private equity firm created by the UK government.

UK Pathology Labs Suffer In Quality Under Serco Management
by Puck LoCorpWatch Blog
October 24th, 2012
Privatization of major medical laboratories from the National Hospital Service (NHS) in Britain has led to a dramatic decline in service quality, according to a “Transforming Pathology, the Serco way,” a recent report from UK-based researchers Corporate Watch.

Private Prison for Asylum Seekers on Pacific Island
by Pratap ChatterjeeCorpWatch Blog
September 17th, 2012
Transfield Services, an Australian logistics company that provides services to the mining and oil industry among others, has won a $25.9 million contract from the government of Australia to run a detention center for asylum seekers in the Pacific island nation of Nauru.

Malaysian Water Company Claims To Have Run Dry
by Pratap ChatterjeeCorpWatch Blog
August 1st, 2012
Syabas, a private water company in Malaysia, has threatened to start water rationing in the state of Selangor after claiming that it had almost no water reserves left. Critics claim that the threat is a ploy to win more lucrative contracts and to favor a rival political party.

Court to Hear Challenge to Myriad’s Human Gene Patent
by Pratap ChatterjeeCorpWatch Blog
July 19th, 2012
Should a private company be allowed to patent isolated human genes? A lawsuit to be heard Friday pits Myriad Genetics of Utah against the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Myriad wants to be the exclusive U.S. commercial provider of genetic screening tests for breast cancer or ovarian cancer.

Repsol Sues Argentina for $10 Billion Over YPF Nationalization
by Carmelo Ruiz-MarreroCorpWatch Blog
May 18th, 2012
Repsol, a multinational based in Spain, has brought a class action lawsuit in New York courts against the Argentine government for the re-nationalization of YPF, the former Argentine state oil company. Environmentalists question both parties over the impact of the company.

Elsevier Versus Wikipedia: Academics Revolt Against Giant Publisher
by Pratap ChatterjeeCorpWatch Blog
May 11th, 2012
Over 11,000 academics have pledged to boycott Elsevier, the Dutch publishing giant, for profiting off their work and making it unavailable to the general public. Now Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, plans to turn the world of corporate academic publishing on its head.

Thorny Business: Ethiopian Rose Exports To Europe
by Pratap ChatterjeeCorpWatch Blog
March 5th, 2012
Karuturi Global and Saudi Star have leased thousands of hectares of land from the Ethiopian government for agricultural development. Critics says these projects have displaced traditional farmers and subsistence crops.

U.S. Congressional Wartime Commission Targets Armed Contractors
by Pratap ChatterjeeSpecial to CorpWatch
June 23rd, 2010
This week, almost a decade after the U.S. "War on Terror" began, the Commission on Wartime Contracting held two days of hearings into the role of private contractors in conducting and supporting war. The Congressional witness table included Aegis, DynCorp and Triple Canopy. Curiously, Blackwater was not called; and the CEO of Torres Advanced Enterprise Solutions failed to appear.

Afghanistan, Inc.: A CorpWatch Investigative Report (2006)
by Fariba NawaSpecial to CorpWatch
April 30th, 2010
The recent boom in humanitarian aid has an underbelly largely invisible to charity sector outsiders. “Easy money: the great aid scam," packs a biting critique (Linda Polman, The Sunday Times Online, April 25). In 2006, CorpWatch’s "Afghanistan, Inc.", cited by Polman, drilled down on reconstruction dollars, in what’s become known as “Afghaniscam.” We bring our report to you again.

Afghanistan Spy Contract Goes Sour for Pentagon
by Pratap ChatterjeeSpecial to CorpWatch
March 16th, 2010
Mike Furlong, a top Pentagon official, is alleged to have hired a company called International Media Ventures to supply information for drone strikes and assassinations in Afghanistan and Pakistan, according to a complaint filed by the CIA and revealed by the New York Times on March 15.

Agility Attempts to Vault Fraud Charges
by Pratap ChatterjeeSpecial to CorpWatch
February 1st, 2010
Agility, a Kuwait-based multi-billion dollar logistics company spawned by the U.S. invasion of Iraq, is facing criminal charges for over-billing the U.S. taxpayer on more than $8.5 billion worth of food supply contracts in the Iraq war zone. If the lawsuit is successful, the company could owe the U.S. government as much as $1 billion.

Black & Veatch's Tarakhil Power Plant: White Elephant in Kabul
by Pratap ChatterjeeSpecial to CorpWatch
November 19th, 2009
In a secluded valley a few miles from Kabul's international airport, $285 million in U.S. taxpayer dollars have flowed into a Black & Veatch-built power plant outside Tarakhil village. But, far from the public relations coup the project was intended to supply, the plant has run into problems with planning, cost over-runs and alleged corruption.

Spies for Hire: New Online Database of U.S. Intelligence Contractors
by Tim ShorrockSpecial to CorpWatch
November 16th, 2009
CorpWatch joins with Tim Shorrock today, the first journalist to blow the whistle on the privatization of U.S. intelligence, in releasing Spies for Hire.org, a groundbreaking database focusing on the dozens of corporations that provide classified intelligence services to the United States government.

Mission Essential, Translators Expendable
by Pratap ChatterjeeSpecial to CorpWatch
August 11th, 2009
Ohio-based Mission Essential Personnel supplies over 2,000 translators to the Pentagon in Afghanistan, who play a critical role in protecting local and military lives. These interpreters are a key communications link. But if they are wounded or killed, they are often left to fend for themselves. This special features video of CorpWatch interviews with three Afghan whistleblowers, recorded in country in April. Click through to hear their story.

Is Halliburton Forgiven and Forgotten? Or How to Stay Out of Sight While Profiting From the War in Iraq
by Pratap ChatterjeeTomDispatch.com
June 3rd, 2009
At Halliburton's recent annual shareholders meeting in Houston, all was remarkably staid as the company celebrated its $4 billion in 2008 operating profits, a striking 22% return at a time when many companies are announcing record losses. Just three months ago, however, Halliburton didn't hesitate to pay $382 million in fines to the U.S. Department of Justice as part of the settlement of a controversial KBR gas project in Nigeria in which the company admitted to paying a $180 million bribe to government officials.

Policing Afghanistan: Obama's New Strategy
by Pratap ChatterjeeSpecial to CorpWatch
March 23rd, 2009
A new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan will be unveiled by President Barack Obama this week. It plans to ramp up the training of the Afghan army and police at a cost of some $2 billion a year. Private contractor DynCorp is already lining up to bid for some of the lucrative contracts. This article provides an overview of key reports assessing the training of the Afghan police, and DynCorp's role, to date.

GEO Group, Inc.: Despite a Crashing Economy, Private Prison Firm Turns a Handsome Profit
by Erin RosaSpecial to CorpWatch
March 1st, 2009
While the nation’s economy flounders, business is booming for The GEO Group Inc., a private prison firm paid millions by the U.S. government. Behind the financial success and expansion of the for-profit security company, there are increasing charges of negligence, civil rights violations, abuse and even death.

Inheriting Halliburton's Army: What Will Obama Do With KBR?
by Pratap ChatterjeeTomDispatch.com
February 22nd, 2009
President Obama will almost certainly touch down in Baghdad and Kabul in Air Force One sometime in the coming year to meet his counterparts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and he will just as certainly pay a visit to a U.S. military base or two. Should he stay to eat with the troops, he will no less certainly choose from a menu prepared by migrant Asian workers under contract to Houston-based KBR, the former subsidiary of Halliburton.

Book Release: "Halliburton's Army: How A Well-Connected Texas Oil Company Revolutionized The Way America Makes War"
by Pratap ChatterjeeNation Books
February 3rd, 2009
In "HALLIBURTON’S ARMY: How a Well-Connected Texas Oil Company Revolutionized the Way America Makes War" (Nation Books; February 9, 2009; $26.95), muckraking journalist Pratap Chatterjee conducts a highly detailed investigation into Halliburton and its former subsidiary KBR’s activities in Kuwait and Iraq, uncovering much new information about its questionable practices and extraordinary profits.

Outsourcing Intelligence in Iraq: A CorpWatch Report on L-3/Titan, Updated December 2008 with Recommendations from Amnesty International
by Pratap ChatterjeeSpecial to CorpWatch
December 9th, 2008
When U.S. troops or embassy officials want to investigate Iraqis - such as interrogating prisoners, the principal intermediary is a Manhattan based-company named L-3. CorpWatch is pleased to release an updated version of this report, with recommendations from Amnesty International on human rights and other standards for translation and intelligence contracting.

Norilsk Nickel: A Tale of Unbridled Capitalism, Russian Style
by Anton FoekSpecial to CorpWatch
October 9th, 2008
The launch of Russia’s stock markets in the early 90s and privatization of state assets has profoundly impacted Russian society. As the case of mining giant Norilsk Nickel illustrates, this experiment has given rise to both immense personal wealth for a new elite, and economic uncertainty for the ordinary citizen.

One Million Weapons to Iraq; Many Go Missing
by Pratap ChatterjeeSpecial to CorpWatch
September 22nd, 2008
An Alabama company controlled by a billionaire Kuwaiti family is the biggest supplier of guns to Iraq. These weapons were paid for by the Pentagon which has lost track of them. A new Amnesty international report says that such unrestrained global arms trading schemes may have catastrophic human rights consequences.

The Gunmen of Kabul
by Fariba NawaSpecial to CorpWatch
December 21st, 2007
The booming private security industry in Afghanistan has been the target of a number government raids in the last few months. One of the largest contractors -- United States Protection and Investigations (USPI) from Texas -- has been accused of corruption.

Domestic Spying, Inc.
by Tim Shorrock Special to CorpWatch
November 27th, 2007
A new U.S. intelligence institution will allow government spy agencies to conduct broad surveillance and reconnaissance inside the country for the first time. Contractors like Boeing, BAE Systems, Harris Corporation, L-3 Communications and Science Applications International Corporation are already lining up for possible work.

The Boys from Baghdad: Iraqi Commandos Trained by U.S. Contractor
by Pratap ChatterjeeSpecial to CorpWatch
September 20th, 2007
Iraqi commandos are being training by USIS, a Virginia-based company that was once owned by the Carlyle Group. One of multiple "security" forces being created with $20 billion in U.S. funds, these Emergency Response Units may be stoking civil unrest as they accompany U.S. troops on raids.

High-Tech Healthcare in Iraq, Minus the Healthcare
by Pratap ChatterjeeSpecial to CorpWatch
January 8th, 2007
Almost four years after the toppling of Saddam Hussein, Iraq’s healthcare system is still a shambles. While most hospitals lack basic supplies, dozens of incomplete clinics and warehoused high-technology equipment remain as a testament to the failed U.S. experiment to reconstruct of Iraq. First in a series of CorpWatch articles.

Iraq After Halliburton
by Pratap ChatterjeeSpecial to CorpWatch
July 12th, 2006
The controversial multibillion-dollar deal with oil services giant Halliburton to provide logistical support to U.S. troops in Iraq has been canceled. What should happen next? Read our three alternative annual reports on Halliburton, to learn the real legacy of the company's incompetence and corruption.
Listen to an interview with CorpWatch's director, Pratap Chatterjee.

HAITI: Haiti Telecom Kickbacks Tarnish Aristide
by Lucy KomisarSpecial to CorpWatch
December 29th, 2005
In two lawsuits, politically connected U.S. telecom companies have been accused of kickbacks to Former President Aristide and his associates.

Coca Farmer Wins Bolivian Election: New President to Challenge Multinationals
by Anton FoekSpecial to CorpWatch
December 28th, 2005
Evo Morales, an Aymara Indian who grew up in childhood poverty, has won the Bolivian presidential elections. He is part of a wave of leftists taking power in Latin America and challenging multinational corporations.

University, Inc.
by Jennifer BordenSpecial to CorpWatch
April 11th, 2005
From research patents to high-stakes partnerships, Jennifer Washburn spent years researching the links between industry and the American University. In this exclusive interview with CorpWatch's Jennifer Borden, Washburn talks about what she found, why it matters and what you can do about it.

Leaving Children Behind
by Ben ClarkeSpecial to CorpWatch
September 23rd, 2004
Exam privatization threatens public schools "They make kids in my class feel dumb," says Vanessa Verdín about the corporate-designed standardized tests that millions of U.S. students are required to take under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Vanessa, an energetic eleven year old whose hobbies include soccer, knitting and research, feels that the tests "ask the wrong questions" and "waste time when we could be learning."

Privatizing Hope
August 19th, 2004
Ten years after the first democratic elections in South Africa brought the African National Congress to power, critics claim that privatization and neoliberal economic policies have usurped the promise of democracy.
Soweto Resists Privatization Moves
Trevor Ngwane/Walter Turner
ANC Privatizations Fail to Deliver in South Africa, Patrick Bond

Soweto Resists ANC Privatization Moves
by Walter Turner: Interview with Trevor NgwaneAfrica Today
August 18th, 2004
From illegal reconnection to the electrical grid, "Operation Khanyisa" to refusal of pre-pair water meters, South Africa's largest black township fights back.

ANC Privatizations Fail to Deliver in South Africa
by Patrick BondSpecial to Corpwatch
August 18th, 2004
"Privatization can only worsen conditions for the majority. The reality of the Telkom sale is that property is being expropriated from 46 million South Africans to be auctioned off to, at best, 1 million 'investors' in the name of black economic empowerment."

Bush Turns Blind Eye to Blackout Culprit
by Tyson SlocumSpecial to CorpWatch
August 21st, 2003
An Ohio-based energy conglomerate is responsible for the massive power blackout that shut down much of the Midwest and Northeast -- and its chief executives rank among Bush's top campaign fundraisers.

Bechtel: Profiting from Destruction
by CorpWatch, Global Exchange, Public CitizenCollaborative Report
June 5th, 2003
In this collaborative report we look at Bechtel's history of operations in the water, nuclear, energy and public works sectors.

CLEAR CHANNEL: the Media Mammoth that Stole the Airwaves
by Jeff PerlsteinSpecial to CorpWatch
November 14th, 2002
Clear Channel leads the way in undermining media diversity in the US. Now, citizens are fighting back.

Nuclear Renaissance or Nuclear Nightmare?
by Karl GrossmanSpecial to CorpWatch
October 23rd, 2002
Thought the nuclear power industry was dead? Guess again. Industry leaders met to launch a "renaissance" with help from the White House. Check out this CorpWatch exclusive.

Will Congress Investigate US Agencies' Enron Ties?
by Jim ValletteSpecial to CorpWatch
August 1st, 2002
The Senate is investigating the role of private investment banks in the Enron scandal. Could public institutions, like the World Bank and the Export-Import Bank be next?

Edison's Failing Grade
by Tali WoodwardSpecial to CorpWatch
June 20th, 2002
For-profit school manager Edison Schools Inc. promoted itself as the savior of American public education. Now, the company is struggling for its own survival.

Sempra: Exporting Pollution
by J.P. Ross, GreenpeaceSpecial to CorpWatch
May 27th, 2002
San Diego-based Sempra Energy is dodging US environmental laws by building power plants in Mexico -- and shipping the electricity back to California.

The Prison Industry: Capitalist Punishment
by Julie LightCorpWatch
October 28th, 1999
The CMT Blues scandal and the host of human rights and labor issues it raises, is just the tip of the iceberg in a web of interconnected business, government and class interests which critics dub the ''prison industrial complex.''

The Prison Industrial Complex: Crisis and Control
by Christian ParentiSpecial to CorpWatch
September 1st, 1999
The author of Lockdown America paints a chilling picture of social and economic crisis, corporate interest and the need to lock up ''disposable'' populations. Parenti also looks at the major corporate players in the prison industrial complex.

Privatizing Pain
by Mumia Abu-JamalSpecial to CorpWatch
August 26th, 1999
In this original column for CorpWatch, death-row journalist Jamal describes some of the dramatic abuses that occur when the profit motive and punishment collide.

Prison Privatization: The Bottom Line
by Alex FriedmannSpecial to CorpWatch
August 21st, 1999
This CCA prisoner describes his stint in a private lockup where the company's stock quotes were posted on the wall. His reporting on company policies landed him in hot water and then back in a state prison.

Masked Racism: Reflections on the Prison Industrial Complex
by Angela Y. DavisColorLines
September 1st, 1998
Long time scholar and activist Davis explains that locking up vast numbers of poor people of color "has literally become big business." She examines how corporate interest and institutional racism intersect.

Corporate-Sponsored Public Schools
Applied Research Center
July 8th, 1998
Here is a fact sheet on the education industry prepared by the Applied Research Center (ARC). It is an excellent resource listing a ''who's who'' of the for-profit education world.

Race and Classroom: The Corporate Connection
CorpWatch
July 8th, 1998
Activist and researcher Libero Della Piana talks about the history of institutional racism in U.S. schools and how it leaves children of color vulnerable to corporate intervention in the classroom.

Giving Kids the Business
CorpWatch
July 8th, 1998
CorpWatch discusses industry's efforts to cash in on public schools with Professor Molnar, Author of Giving Kids the Business and director of the Center for the Analysis of Commercialism in Education.

A Local Battle Highlights the National Debate Over EMOs
by Julie LightSpecial to CorpWatch
July 8th, 1998
CorpWatch editor Julie Light reports on a pitched battle for the future of a San Francisco school. The players? The Edison Corporation, the local school board, parents, teachers and students.

The Education Industry: The Corporate Takeover of Public Schools
by Julie LightCorpWatch
July 8th, 1998
Education in the U.S. has become big business. The ''education industry,'' a term coined by EduVentures, an investment banking firm, is estimated to be worth between $630 and $680 billion in the United States. The stock value of 30 publicly traded educational companies is growing twice as fast as the Dow Jones Average.

US: Oregon's Prison Slaveocracy
by Dan PensPrison Legal News
May 1st, 1998
When "get tough" voter measures requiring inmates to work for free, undermined the Oregon State Constitution, lawmakers simply amended it. Prison Legal News co-editor and inmate Pens looks at the impacts on prisoner and labor rights.

Some Trends in the Education Industry
Applied Research Center
December 1st, 1997
Here is a comparative chart listing some trends in the education industry prepared by the Applied Research Center.

Profiting from Punishment
by Paul WrightPrison Labor News
March 1st, 1997
The co-editor of Prison Legal News, a Washington State prisoner himself, Wright reports on private companies, like Boeing, that are making out like bandits by using prison labor.