ExxonMobil Sabotages U.S. Government
CONTACT: Robert Jereski, (212) 973-1782
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
EXXONMOBIL SABOTAGES U.S. GOVERNMENT
Report Author Calls for Congressional Hearings on ExxonMobil's Practices in Indonesia
JUNE 10, 2001 - A current report raises urgent new questions about ExxonMobil violations of U.S. Federal law and its undermining of U.S. foreign policy objectives.
The report reveals how ExxonMobil's continued business relationship with the Indonesian military involves the corporation in unlawful business practices and in human rights abuses.
- financing Indonesian military and police acts of human rights abuse, drug trafficking, weapons trafficking, & extortion.
This report, "The Conflict in Aceh, and U.S. Interests in Promoting A Free Market, Stability and Human Rights in South East Asia - An Examination of the Context and Impacts of ExxonMobil’s Security Arrangements with the Indonesian Armed Forces", is available on the website of the Harvard University Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Studies Program at http://preventconflict.org/portal/main/research/jereski.htm.
It was prepared to encourage U.S. Congressional and Justice Department investigations into the question of ExxonMobil's alleged violations of U.S. law and its undermining of foreign policy goals. Congress has severely restricted military aid and training for the Indonesian military because of its widespread human rights abuses.
On July 11th, the International Day of Action against ExxonMobil is to be launched against the world's largest publicly held corporation with over 100 protests in 15 countries scheduled (see PressurePoint.org). Among the issues uniting the protestors is ExxonMobil's alleged complicity in human rights atrocities in Aceh, Indonesia. The demonstrations will also express support for the Kyoto Treaty on climate change, blocking moves to drill in the Arctic Refuge, and ending support for corporate controlled "free" trade.
The report's author, Robert Jereski, was a colleague of the murdered Acehnese human rights lawyer, Jafar Siddiq Hamzah, 35, a resident of New York. Hamzah was murdered in Indonesia in August 2000, while investigating ExxonMobil's abuses in the resource rich province of Aceh.
Jereski delivered copies of the report to New York Senators Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton and to the Justice Department on Wednesday. The report urges Senate hearings and a Justice Department investigation.
On June 20, 2001, a lawsuit was filed against ExxonMobil by the International Labor Rights Fund, in federal court in Washington, D.C. The plaintiffs are 11 villagers living near ExxonMobil facilities in Lhokseumawe, Aceh, who suffered a range of atrocities, including rapes, torture and murdered spouses, allegedly at the hands of the military hired by the energy giant as security.
Indications of corruption, in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, surfaced with a 1999 PricewaterhouseCoopers "Special Audit" of Pertamina, ExxonMobil's partner in natural gas operations in the province of Aceh, Indonesia. This audit revealed widespread "inefficiencies", due to corruption, collusion and nepotism in Pertamina procurement transactions. According to the audit, there were $4.6 billion in losses. Since its formation in 1968 under the dictator Suharto, Pertamina has been a major source of funding for the military. ExxonMobil has neither disavowed their partner's activities nor dissolved the partnership.
According to the International Crisis Group and other sources, the Indonesian military raises as much as 75% of its operating budget from legal and illegal business ventures. The report argues that the military's drug running, arms trafficking and prostitution - including child prostitution - contribute to regional instability, harm democratization efforts as well as undermining the U.S. government's war on drugs. ExxonMobil hands over $6 million dollars a year to the military, ostensibly for their security.