by Al Gedicks
Z Magazine, vol. 26, no. 10 (October 2013)
Armed guards protecting extractive resource operations is not an uncommon sight in Central and South American countries where there is growing community resistance to ecologically destructive mining and oil projects. As early as 2008 the United Nations documented “an emerging trend in Latin America but also in other regions of the world indicates situations of private security companies protecting transnational extractive corporations whose employees are often involved in suppressing legitimate social protest of communities and human rights and environmental organizations where these corporations operate.” (Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of people to self-determination).