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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.

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