Seven years ago, the operations of Freeport-Rio Tinto at the world’s most controversial mine hit international headlines.
This wasn’t because of the massive toll in human rights and environmental abuses over the past three and more decades, caused by the Grasberg and Ertzberg mines in West Papua. It was because US teachers had been murdered in unexplained circumstances. (The killing of a third, Indonesian, teacher got far less attention.)
There followed a number of reports (and a book) that accused the Indonesian military of having engineered the murders, in order to indict the Papuan independence movement, OPM – which had sabotaged one of Freeport’s pipelines in 1977.
Although nothing was then proved, evidence has now surfaced confirming that members of the Indonesian armed forces were, indeed, behind the assassinations. And that the Australian government acted to suppress such information.