Privatization & Procurement

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.
Disaster profiteers make millions while local companies and laborers in New Orleans and the rest of the Katrina-devastated Gulf Coast region are systematically getting the short end of the stick, according to a major new report from the nonprofit CorpWatch.Click here for the press release, to read the text version or to download the report.
Overhead costs have consumed more than half the budget of some reconstruction projects in Iraq, according to a government estimate released yesterday, leaving far less money than expected to provide the oil, water and electricity needed to improve the lives of Iraqis.
Evergrande Real Estate Group, now mired in debt, has become a symbol of China's go-go era of investing, when international bankers, private equity deal makers and hedge fund managers from Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank and others rushed here hoping to cash in on the world's biggest building boom.
Five years after the citizens of Cochabamba won the "water war" against multinational Bechtel, the poorer half of the city still has no reliable access to the now-public water utility.
Robert Young Pelton is the author of "Licensed to Kill: Hired Guns in the War on Terror " and the "Guide to the World's Most Dangerous Places." He is also co-founder of http://www.iraqslogger.com/ . This blog item is about his experiences attending the Congressional hearing into the Blackwater shootings in Iraq written on October 2nd, 2007.
At least 20,000 police surveillance cameras are being installed along streets here in southern China and will soon be guided by sophisticated computer software from an American-financed company to recognize automatically the faces of police suspects and detect unusual activity.
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.
This week the Project on Government Oversight released damning allegations of deviant hazing at a camp for security guards in Afghanistan. Sparking questions from the State Department, POGO warned the problems are "posing a significant threat to the security of the embassy and its personnel."
The Bush brand of competitive sourcing, with its get-rich-quick schemes and do-little jobs for administration pals, spread like a cancer throughout the executive branch. It explains why tens of thousands of displaced victims of Katrina are still living in trailer shantytowns all these months later. It explains why New York City and Washington just lost 40 percent of their counterterrorism funds. It helps explain why American troops are more likely to be slaughtered than greeted with flowers more than three years after the American invasion of Iraq.