Tag Archives: Corporate Malfeasance

Mayora’s Latest Trick: Threatened with OPM stigma, Village Leaders Intimidated into Signing Document

by AwasMIFEE

August 7, 2013

Kampung Yowid, like other villages in Tubang and Ilwayab districts, has taken a determined and united stance against plantation companies, which have recently been moving in to the area. But now indigenous leaders in Kampung Yowid have been intimidated into signing a document from PT Mayora, one of Indonesia’s leading food brands, which is trying to take over their land for a sugar cane plantation. The people were accused of being OPM separatists by the police mobile brigade members the company employs as guards, who also accused them of storing weapons in their indigenous meeting house (adat house). Knowing that villagers were scared and thinking they might have to run to the forest, some community leaders felt they had no option but to sign the document. The contents of the document are unknown – villagers were never given a copy. Now, as before, the community states its clear opposition to Mayora’s plantation plan.

Merauke, like the rest of West Papua, is a militarized zone bearing the scars of fifty years of conflict. Now, as plantation companies continue to push their way in, it is not the first time that companies have been accused of using the ‘separatist’ stigma as a way to threaten indigenous people to give up their ancestral land.  The people are quite reasonably afraid – they know that  elsewhere security forces have unleashed violent repression countless times after labelling people as separatists.

This kind of link between military might and corporate ambition also has a clear parallel in Suharto’s New Order regime: plantation companies seized huge swathes of peasant farmers’ land in Sumatra in the 1970s and 1980s, threatening to kill people as communists if they resisted. Many communities are still trying to reclaim this land through land occupations and other forms of resistance.

The elders of Kampung Yowid who were forced to sign have now testified on video of how they were the victims of Mayora’s manipulation. Below, the Woyu Maklew sub-ethnic group Intellectual Forum and JPIC-MSC have also provided further background information on what happened.

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Video: Statement from the Woyu Maklew Sub-ethnic group Intellectual Forum (subtitled video available at https://awasmifee.potager.org/?p=472%5D

Merauke, Friday (2 August 2013), the Woyu Maklew Sub-ethnic group Intellectual Forum wishes to make clear that PT Mayora has violated the rights of the Marind Woyu Maklew indigenous people. The traditional (adat) chief and village head were forced to sign a document which PT Mayora presented to them, after the village was threatened with the stigma of being considered OPM members. A few villagers which supported the company were used to terrorise the others into accepting PT Mayora’s
prescence in Yowid, Dokib, Wamal, Bibikem, Woboyu, Wanam and Dodalim villages.

According to Ambrosius Laku Kaize, Kampung Yowid’s adat chief, he was forced to sign after pressure from PT Mayora’s staff. “I was forced to sign, because the villagers of Kampung Yowid had been accused of being OPM members”, he said. Mr Kaize went on to explain how he, the administrative village head and the head of the Geb-Zami clan had all been similarly intimidated after PT Mayora made clear that the people of Kampung Yowid would be considered OPM if they didn’t sign the company’s letter.

The Woyu Maklew Sub-ethnic group Intellectual Forum’s monitoring has revealed that Marind people in the affected villages ( Yowid, Dokib, Wamal, Dodalim, Woboyu, Bibikem, Wanam and Uliuli) have not received reliable and truthful information about any policy for investment on their ancestral lands in general, and about PT Mayora’s presence in particular. This is an indication that the investment process is already violating the Marind indigenous people’s right to receive information without compulsion and before investment activities commence. Aside from that, Marind people from the Woyu Maklew sub-ethnic group have already made clear that they oppose all investment on their ancestral land, because they do not have the skills required to get work with companies.

PT Mayora has already brought insecurity into the lives of local people, by going around villages in the area escorted by fully-armed Brimob from Merauke Police Station, and now by inciting individuals from the villages, the company has also created an unsafe situation by sowing fear.
Further Background Information

On 21st May 2013, PT Mayora and PT Astra’s management met with Marind customary landowners in the Swiss-Bel Hotel on Jalan Raya Mandala in Merauke city. In this meeting, the people, through the Woyu Maklew Sub-ethnic group Intellectual Forum, expressed their opposition to the two companies. The reasons for this can be read in the forum’s letter here: https://awasmifee.potager.org/?p=352

Villagers from Woboyu, Bibikem, Dadalim, Yowid, Wambi, Wanam, Wamal and Dokib villages have all made their opinion clear. In March and April this year each village has erected markers as a way to use customary law to prohibit the companies’ presence, also putting up signs with messages like “Oppose the  companies, because we don’t have much land, and because we want to defend the Marind culture and our children and grandchildren’s future”.

While most of the people have maintained their strong stance against Mayora and Astra, two villagers from Yowid who had been won over by the company, together with one of PT Mayora’s Brimob guards and the company’s staff, got hold of a leaflet about human rights in Papua. The leaflet had been put together by the Merauke branch of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) and was a summary of news from the mass media about the human rights situation. The deputy adat chief admitted that it was him who had distributed the leaflet so that people could read about the human rights situation. After all, they have the right to know.

However he was shocked to see how PT Mayora reacted towards the community after seeing this leaflet. As the adat chief explains in the video, PT Mayora started claiming that villagers were OPM separatists. The company also reportedly claimed that the adat house was used for storing weapons or OPM equipment.

During their monitoring from the last part of July to 4th August, JPIC MSC Indonesia and the Woyu Maklew Sub-ethnic group Intellectual Forum found that the people of Yowid had been severely frightened as a result of Mayora’s accusations that they were OPM separatists. There was a plan for the women and children to seek refuge in the forest. On 27th July, a meeting was held in the adat house (the local name is Sawiya) to discuss the fear they were living under. In that meeting village leaders told of how they had been forced to sign the document. Others didn’t sign, but their signatures were forged by the pro-Mayora villagers.

They never received a copy of the document they signed, and this made the community even more nervous. They were concerned that word would spread amongst neighbouring villages that they had given away their land to the company. All villages in the area had agreed some time ago that no-one should sell their land, and anyone who betrayed that agreement would be sure to face harsh repercussions.

On 27th July 2013, villagers wrote a letter to the Merauke Regency leader, Papuan Provincial Investment Board and Indonesian National Land Agency explaining that Kampung Yowid continues to oppose PT Mayora.

Photo shows the community in Yowid making their opposition to
plantations clear earlier this year (Photo: AwasMIFEE)

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-Mayora’s brands include Kopiko coffee and sweets, Energen cereal drinks, Torabika coffee, Bengbeng chocolate wafers and Slai O’lai biscuits. They are mostly sold in Indonesia, but selected lines are exported to around 50 countries worldwide.

Sugar company Rajawali is destroying forest without permission in Malind district

by Ank @ Pusaka (Heritage) Foundation to empower community rights

15 April 2013

Merauke, Papua: Without the knowledge or consent of local landowners in Kampung Onggari, Malind district, Merauke, two subsidiaries of the Rajawali Group, PT Karya Bumi Papua and PT Cenderawasi Jaya Mandiri, are destroying ancestral forest, evicting areas of importance and swamps belonging to the people. It is believed that this has been occurring since the end of 2012.

Stephanus Gebze, a well-known figure and leader of one of the landowning clans in Kampung Onggari revealed that, “the Malind people of Kampung Onggari have never sat down and discussed this together, nor have we agreed to give permission or surrender our land to the Rajawali company”.

In 2010, the Rajawali company presented its project plans at the Malind district office, in Kampung Kaiburse, but community members from Onggari who were present stated their opposition to the company’s operations in Onggari, as they needed the forests and swamps to be able to support future generations of villagers. In 2011, Rajawali built a church in Onggari, but the people never agreed to give their forests and swamps over to the company. “We accepted the help to build the church as a contribution to us in Onggari. We cannot be coaxed into giving up our land just because a church was built for us”, said Paulinus Balagaize.

Several local people have already surveyed the site where clearing has taken place, known as Tiptidek, Kopti and Kandiput. They have found that their forests and swampland, known as Deg, Palee, Bob, have already been flattened. “These are the places we go hunting, fishing, collect wood and medicines. There are animal habitats and burial grounds of the Malind ancestors. The company has destroyed them all”, said Stephanus Mahuze, another prominent member of the Onggari community. expressing his disappointment with Rajawali for clearing the forest without permission.

The Onggari village government and other community leaders met with the leader of the Malind District, Martinus Dwiharjo, on Thursday 11th April 2013. They complained about how Rajawali was clearing the forest without permission. “This is harassment, and a violation of our traditional rights as Marind people”, said Stephanus Gebze.

The community is demanding that Rajawali’s activities are stopped until settlement is reached according to Marind customary law. There must be compensation for all the various losses the people suffer,  including for grasses and other plants and disruption to animal life. The community wishes that these problems can be resolved peacefully and according to the Marind people’s traditional mechanisms.

Martinus Dwiharjo said that he had no knowledge that Rajawali had been clearing people’s land in Onggari. Martinus has offered to facilitate a meeting to resolve the issue with Rajawali as soon as possible, on
Tuesday 16th April 2013. Martinus also wishes to lend his support to resolve any questions about the location of the boundary between land belonging to the clans of Kampung Onggari and Domande. The majority of Kampung Domande’s land has already been given over to Rajawali.

Who knows how often Rajawali has overstepped the line? In November 2012, the people of Kampung Domande, Malind district, imposed a penalty on Rajawali according to their customary laws because the company had
cleared land on the Sanggayas burial ground. Fransiskus Kaize, the village head, explained this penalty consisted of a seven million rupiah fine, one pig and twelve kava plants. The Sanggayas Burial ground has
now been cordoned off with a coconut leaf fence to show that it is forbidden to destroy the surrouding areas.

When a company clears forest without permission, it is grabbing land, insulting indigenous traditions and breaking the law. It is only right that the Malind people of Onggari take action to uphold their customary law against such companies.

Source:
http://pusaka.or.id/2013/04/perusahaan-tebu-rajawali-membongkar-hutan-tanpa-ijin-di-distrik-malind.html

Available in English at https://awasmifee.potager.org/?p=334

KNPB pleads for international security (force) to prevent ongoing conflict in Timika

October 8, 2012

Timika Conflict Report by Steven Itlay [Chair KNPB Mimika]

Analysis – edited by West Papua Media

Since the civil war broke out on June 2, 2012 in Timika,West Papua the number of victims among the indigenous people continues to grow. Freeport Indonesia Pty Ltd, the army, police and Government of Indonesia have not been able to resolve this insignificant dispute. They have allowed and indeed fostered this civil war.

As a result, at the time of this report (5/10), scores of lives have been lost and many (people) wounded. According to monitoring, the majority of the victims were hit by arrows; however a number were also shot dead by Indonesian Police. Yet others have disappeared as the result of “lightning” (speedy) killings by certain criminal elements. The Government of Indonesia and Freeport have not been able to resolve the conflict; therefore the (local) people are demanding an international security force to protect their lives.

The West Papua National Committee (KNPB) Mimika has been monitoring this situation, and has come to the conclusion that the civil war between clans has been allowed (to occur) by the Indonesian government and Freeport. The situation is trending towards genocide, and the Indonesian authorities – with the American corporation which is established on the Amungsa land – are deliberately permitting genocide in Timika, West Papua.

Chronology of the civil war

The civil war began from a misunderstanding which occurred since May 20, 2012 in Timika, Papua. In the beginning an incident occurred between Ronny Ongomang and Aroki Komangal. (Ronny Onggomang was the son of Hosea Onggomang and Aroki Komangal was the son of Atimus Komangal). At 4.00 p.m. Aroki called Ronny at his house and invited him to go for an evening ride, and .took the streets in the afternoon. The two went out, each using his own motorcycle heading along Old Freeport Street, next to Timika Airport. They sat down and began drinking (liquor).

Not long after that, a youth named Oni Kerembo who had just finished bathing at the side of Old Freeport Street was starting up his motor cycle, was suddenly hit by Ronny Ongomang who was crossing the road with his friend Mickieto while giving a ride on the back of his bike at high speed, despite being affected by alcohol.

After the collision with Oni, Ronny could still stand, and panicking, mounted his motorcycle and sped off about 1 kilometre, stopping at the side of a ditch by the road. According to police information, Ronny fell (from his bike) there and died suddenly (from his injuries). At the same time Oni Kerembo suffered broken bones and was rushed to Mitara Community Hospital RSMM Karitas for treatment.

The following day (21 May 2012), around 8.00 a.m, a citizen discovered the body of Ronny Onggomang in the ditch at the side of the road where he had fallen. The citizen immediately contacted the police, Polantas (traffic) section, and the body was removed to the District of Mimika General Hospital (RSUD Mimika). His parents were notified and identified Ronny Onggomang’s body at RSUD.

On 22 May 2012, his body was buried at the house of his father Hosea Ongomang at Kwamki Narama, Mimika.

On 24-26 May 2012 in Mimika, the victim’s family together with police from Polantas carried out an investigation into Ronny’s death. The police from Polantas said that it was clearly an accident, but the victim’s family did not accept this because there were no signs of scratches or lacerations on the body.

On 29 May 2012, the family of the victim (who) were making accusations everywhere, invited all the elders (including) the father of Aroki Komangal to go at once to the Police, Polantas Section and request clear information on the case. Polantas stated that from their viewpoint it was clearly an accident and there was no perpetrator. However the family of the victim were not satisfied with the police explanation. As a result of this dissatisfaction the family accused Aroki Komangal as the murderer without evidence.

Atimus Komangal and Benyamin Kiwak head of the large Damal clan apologised to the victim’s family but they rejected the apology from the side of the accused, and they wanted to “seek proof in the field” with a traditional physical confrontation or war between the clans, according to traditional custom.

In this small case the police let things be and did not complete the handling of the matter in order that a civil war did not occur. But (by failing to intervene with conflict resolution before violence broke out) it was as if the police provided an opportunity for this war to happen in Timika.

On 2 June 2012 in Mimika Papua, a civil war broke out, The clan of Hosea Ongomang fought against the clan of Atimus Komangal. Finally there was a victim on the Hosea Ongomang side, identified as Deminus Ongomang.

On 5 October 2012, around 8.24 a.m., community leaders, church leaders and womens’ leaders, forcibly chased away the Indonesian police because the police only watched and deliberately encouraged the conflict in Kwamki Narama, even though victims were dying. One Amungme community leader said, “The government of Indonesia, and TNI/POLRI only come to show off in the in an area of conflict like this, because of the political and economic interests of their office. They never truly resolve problems in Papua, especially in the gold mine region of Timika.”

At 09.00 a.m. local time, all the police who were serving in the war area left that war area in shame. All members of community organisations, church groups NGOs and elders regard the Indonesian government army and police (TNI/POLRI) as being incapable, and have failed totally to calm the civil war in Timika.

To the present moment the war is continuing. The Indonesian police have not yet succeeded in calming the civil war. In fact the police are just busy providing security for Freeport Indonesia. They carry out arrests of KNPB activists in the streets. This war which has been encouraged prevents the people from engaging in (peaceful and legitimate free expression) activism. The citizens are afraid to oppose the arbitrary activities of the police.

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Above: Images from the horizontal conflict of 2012 in Mimika (Courtesy KNPB Mimika)
List of names of the victims (of the war) from 20 May to 5 October 2012
A. From the side of Hosea Onggomang
1. Roni Onggomang (16), died in ditch at side of the road, after motorcycle collision with Oni Kerombo .
2. Deminus Onggomang (30). Killed by an arrow, fired mistakenly by one of his friends.
3. Dominus Ongomang (32) shot dead by police officer in Mimika. Perpetrator: Brimob AKBP Denny Siregar S.IK of Batak descent.
4. Doni Onggomang (28). Shot dead by police. Doni had just seen his older brother Dominus shot by Kapolres (Police). Doni was angry and wanted to attack the Kapolres but he was also shot, by Adjutant Kapolres Abram, native of Jayapura.
5. Antelius Ongomang (24), Killed by arrow.
6. Aroki Tabuni (29). Killed by an arrow.
7. Pak Enos Murib (35). Killed by an arrow
8. Ibu (Mrs) Medina Wenda (24). Killed by an arrow in a plantation outside the battlefield.
9. Seki Tabuni (36). Killed by an arrow.
10. Kamoro Tabuni (30). Killed by an arrow.
11. Herry Tabuni (25). Chased and killed in the street.

B. Victims from Atimus Komanggal’s side
1. Parael Alom
2. Yanuarius Misimbo, killed in a plantation.
3. Nike Misimbo (10). killed in a plantation.
4. Ince Komangal (15). killed in a car.
5. Eterikus Beanal. Killed in a car.
6. Jhon Beanal (29). Disappeared, abducted by person unknown
7. Frans Beanal, (30). Disappeared, abducted by person unknown.
8. Pdt. (Reverend) Barnabas Komangal (57). Killed in family fight.
9. People seriously wounded; 12 men and 2 women, names not yet known.
10. Filemon Hagabal, (35). seriously wounded by an arrow.
11. Head of the Dama clan, Victim of bashing carried out by member of the police force, is now left with paralysis in his left leg and has broken ribs. At present still in detention in Polres Mimika Mil 32.
12. Other victims outside the warring clans, Bapak Tom Yarangga (45 years), Yaranggawas burned in a car (fire) carried out by a specially trained group. (Kelompok yang di lati Khusus?), up to now the murderer has not been identified by the police.
Bapak Nasyum killed by a specially trained person. To date police have not identified the murderer.

(WPM Comment: The “Specially Trained Group” or Orang Terlatih Khusus is a euphemism for terror squads of the Indonesian special forces Kopassus, who are believed to responsible for a massive campaign of shootings, stabbings, muggings and bombings against a variety of targets, blamed on highland Papuans, and engineered by design to discredit the civil resistance movement in Papua. Indonesia, and Kopassus, have used proxy militia and jihadist groupsthis as their standard operating procedure since the bloodbaths of the 1965 Coup.)

WEST PAPUA: NZ Super Fund ends investment in Freeport mine over human rights breaches

 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Item: 8112

WELLINGTON (Radio NZ International / Pacific Media Watch): Human rights breaches have prompted the New Zealand Superannuation Fund to end its investment in the huge Freeport McMoRan copper and gold mine in Indonesia’s West Papua region.

Until now, the fund, of just over US$15 billion, has had just over a US$1 million directly invested in the Grasberg mine, and had rejected calls that this was an inappropriate investment of public money.

But the manager for responsible investment, Ann-Maree O’Connor says the fund has become concerned at a recurrence of security issues at the mine and she says human rights breaches are a key factor.

“The context is such that there have been fatalities at the mine, that there have been reports by MSCI and other sources of information that these have breached human rights standards so we believe that the situation is one that could continue well into the future, and those are the standards that we look at when we considering reviewing the behaviour of companies.”

- The New Zealand Superannunation Fund’s manager for responsible investment, Ann-Maree O’Connor.

The NZ Green Party co-leader, Russel Norman said this was a very positive development.

“The people of West Papua will, I think, receive the information very gratefully, the fact that the New Zealand government, the New Zealand Super Fund is taking a stand against the terrible practices at this mine. I think it’s great news.”

Dr Russel Norman said it was “great” that the Super Fund was taking a stronger ethical stance.

PMW editor: The NZ Superannuation Fund’s involvement in the controversial Freeport mine was challenged in a major investigative article in Metro magazine last December.

The article, written by AUT communication studies student and photojournalist Karen Abplanalp, featured a long-running strike at the mine and the shooting of miners in “suspicious circumstances”.

The allegations were widely reported by Pacific Media Watch.

PMW article on the Super Fund issue

 

http://www.pmc.aut.ac.nz/pacific-media-watch/west-papua-nz-super-fund-ends-investment-freeport-mine-over-human-rights-breache

 

Amungme leader warns Freeport it could be closed down

“]
The Grasberg mine has damaged surrounding river systems, such as the Ajikwa river above [West Papua Media
JUBI, 19 January 2012

In view of the fact that there has been no response from Freeport -Indonesia or Freeport McMoran, ‘I, Anthonius Alomang, as executive-director of Lemasa, the Association of Amungme tribal people, herewith warn Freeport in Mimika district that we may close you down.’

‘As director of Lemasa, I declare on this day that we will close Freeport down,’ Alomang told a group Amungme people, addressing them at the meeting hall in Mile 32, Kuala Kencana, Timika.

He said that this was not just a joke but a very serious matter because already more than a month has elapsed without the Freeport management making any response to the statement issued by Tom Beanal, the Torei Negel.

The reason why a statement was made by the Torei Negel himself, said Alomang, speaking before representatives of the Kamoro Tribe and other tribes in Papua as well as representatives of various Indonesian groups in Mimika, is that ever since Freeport has been present here, what has been happening is quite unacceptable to the people who hold customary rights to the land.

The people who were already poor and have become even poorer, and they have seen that there has been not a shred of compassion in the practices towards the local people. This includes murders by unaccountable groups as well as corruption practised by the Freeport management who have never been called to account for all this.

As previously reported by Jubi on 7 December last year, the Torei Negel, Tom Beanal issued a nine-point statement expressing his attitude regarding the ten crucial issues that have been experienced by the Amungme people ever since PT-FI first arrived in Mimika.

Yet, up to this day, there has been no response whatever from the management of Freeport or from McMoran.

But no details are yet available about what these measures might be.