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2/24/09

The Monterrico Metal Torturers: They're after you in Sweden now, bitches

Thought we'd forgotten about you, Bristow?
Check out the following, kindly sent along earlier by reader MH. Straight pastes of the two reports about how Sweden's Securitas are investigating the torture of locals in Peru. They're coming at you from all sides now, Bristow. Run and hide and don't tell anyone! Great PR tactics so far, idiot!

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Unofficial translation provided by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre:

Company owned by Securitas accused of torture

Ove Gustavsson, GT-Expressen, 10 Feb 2009

http://www.gt.se/Nyheter/1.1462069/securitasagt-bolag-anklagas-for-tortyr

The Peruvian company Forza, owned by Swedish Securitas, is accused of having tied and beaten demonstrators – one to death. The abuses are said to have occurred at a demonstration against a mining operation in Rio Blanco, in Peru, 2005. According to Reuters, photographs representing the alleged incident have been published by a Peruvian human rights association.

- If this is true we have to take action, says Gisela Lindstrand, [Senior Vice President for Corporate Communications] at Securitas AB to Expressen.se.

The photographs, distributed by an anonymous source, show men covered in blood with their hands tied behind their backs and plastic bags over their heads. One of the men is later seen dead in another photograph. In the photographs one can also see men wearing vests with the text Forza.

The photos clearly show that personnel of Forza played an active role in the repression and torture, said Javier Jahncke at the human rights organisation Fedepaz to Reuters.

The tortured men are said to be demonstrators against the mining operation which was about to start in Rio Blanco in 2005.

Local police accused

The company Forza was responsible for the mining venture’s security.

Also local police are accused of having helped put down the demonstration.

After receiving the allegations, Peru’s congress is initiating an investigation of the incident.

- We have contacted our subsidiary and we are investigating this in peace and quiet, says Gisela Lindstrand [Senior Vice President for Corporate Communications] at the international section of Securitas AB.

According to her, Securitas bought Forza in 2007, two years after the alleged events.

- If this is true and these persons remain at the company we have to take action.

Distancing itself

Gisela Lindstrand explains that Securitas asked Forza if they comply with laws and regulations when it bought the company.

Securitas distances itself from the behavior shown in the photographs.

- It is not conceivable that we would act this way. We are a serious security company, says Gisela Lindstrand.

Reuters have been in touch with Forza, but they decline to comment.

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Unofficial translation provided by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre:

Company owned by Securitas investigated for torture

Norrlänska Socialdemokraten, 10 Feb 2009

http://www.nsd.se/nyheter/artikel.aspx?ArticleID=4425926

A company which is today owned by the Swedish security group Securitas will be investigated in Peru concerning suspected torture and abuse of the local population in relation to surveillance of mines in the country.

- We are trying to find out what has happened. It will take a while to investigate, says Gisela Lindstrand, Securitas Group [Senior Vice President for Corporate Communications], to TT [Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå].

Peru’s congress has said that suspected crimes by police and private security firms in 2005 will be investigated. Prosecutors are allegedly already working on it.

Last month, a human rights organization published photographs of men and women protesting against mining in Rio Blanco, in Peru.

The victims bled heavily and some had their hands tied behind their backs and plastic bags over their heads. One photograph shows a man bleeding heavily from his neck, and another photograph shows the same man dead one day later, according to Reuters.

“Want to investigate”

In one photograph, an armed guard from the company Forza, can be seen. Forza was bought by the multinational Securitas in 2007.

The photos clearly show that personnel of Forza played an active role in the repression and torture, said Javier Jahncke at the human rights organization to Reuters.

Lindstrand reports that she contacted Peru on Tuesday.

- I have spoken with our country manager and said that I want an investigation into what happened.

In Rio Blanco, Forza is working for the mining company Moterrico, which was bought by the Chinese Group Zijin in 2007. The mining company states that the allegations are one in a sequence of “resistance activities” against mining activity.

The police force in Peru is under-funded. Security at the country’s remote mines is contracted out to private security companies, which in turn hire former policemen and soldiers. They often face local protests against the social and environmental downsides of mining.

Trained security guards

According to human rights organizations, private companies often go way beyond the limits of the law in their assignments.

Lindstrand points out that the company [Forza] was bought after the suspected abuse, and that all Securitas Group’s security guards are trained in human rights.

- If this has happened, it is something which could never happen today, because now Securitas’ rules apply.

- TT: Can you guarantee that even in remote locations in Peru?

- Yes, actually I can, replies Lindstrand.