Pirates of the Corporation

News: Holding American companies responsible for high crimes committed overseas.

By Joshua Kurlantzick July/August 2005 Issue Mother Jones

IN THE SPRING of 2003, Terry Collingsworth was holed up in a Bangkok hotel, meeting with a group of Burmese villagers. Terrified by horrors they’d witnessed in Burma, the villagers had contacted local human rights activists, who in turn had gone to Collingsworth, executive director of a small Washington nonprofit called the International Labor Rights Fund, for salvation. Now, almost 10 years later, over the course of days in the hotel, Collingsworth was still sifting through the tales of abuse. The group had claimed that the oil company Unocal had hired Burmese army troops to secure the construction of a pipeline through the country, and that the troops had forced people living near the pipeline into slave labor. One woman was allegedly shoved into a fire holding her baby. Collingsworth, a wiry, clean-cut lawyer who speaks in rat-a-tat phrases and travels incessantly to meet with clients all over the developing world, was affected by their stories but not intimidated. He himself had witnessed and survived many desperate situations, like the time two years earlier, while visiting potential clients in Aceh, Indonesia, he made it through 17 army checkpoints before driving right into a gunfight between rebels and the army. [...] Read the rest at:
http://www.motherjones.com/news/outfront/2005/07/ATCA.html or http://tinyurl.com/ca3kf

© Virginia Metze


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