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Bribes and bullets: Police corruption linked to violence at the world’s biggest mine

Baker, J. (2011) Bribes and bullets: Police corruption linked to violence at the world’s biggest mine. The Conversation, 18 November .

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President Barack Obama is being urged to raise human rights abuses with the Indonesian President during his visit to Bali. Indonesia is a key ally of the US, now America’s security focus has shifted to South-East Asia, yet violence is endemic in the Papua region, with police thought to be responsible for some of the worst abuses.

The Indonesian police force are often criticized for heavy handed tactics and endemic corruption. The underlying reasons for these problems are misunderstood leading to police reform efforts treating them as separate problems. In fact, violence and systematic corruption are deeply intertwined. This is evident from the ongoing industrial dispute at the world’s largest mine - Freeport McMoran’s Grasberg.

Last month, clashes between police and strikers saw the police fire shots at a recent protest, killing a striking employee and wounding dozens more. The dispute has escalated with the revelation that Freeport has been making undeclared multi-million dollar payments to the national Indonesian police and military.

Item Type: Non-refereed Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Management and Governance
Publisher: The Conversation Media Group
Copyright: The Author
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