Privatization & Procurement
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.
Halliburton is hiring temps to work in Iraq: $100 a month for locals, $300 for Indians and $8,000 for Texans. Meanwhile taxpayers are getting charged top dollar, prompting investigations from the United States military.
The web started off as a vast digital commons, but is becoming increasingly enclosed by corporate actors. Activists at Freespeech.org are working against this trend with their new campaign, "It's Our Web."
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.
Bolivian authorities plan to scour the financial records of foreign energy companies and have threatened explicitly for the first time to seize company assets if new contracts giving the state greater control can not be negotiated.
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.
Bechtel, a global engineering and construction company based in San Francisco, today reached agreement with the government of Bolivia, dropping a legal demand for $50 million after a revolt over privatizing water services in the city of Cochabamba forced the company out of Bolivia in April 2000.
A senior official at Lockheed Martin Corp. in charge of the Deepwater contract for the Coast Guard refused a meeting with one of his own division employees in 2004 to discuss shortcomings in the program's converted patrol boats, charged Deepwater whistleblower Michael DeKort in a just-released letter to two members of Congress.
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.