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The Politics of Power: Freeport in Suharto's Indonesia

The Politics of Power: Freeport in Suharto's Indonesia

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Even as Major General Suharto consolidated his power in the bloodletting of the mid-sixties, Freeport-McMoRan, the American transnational mining company, signed a contract with the new military regime, the first foreign company to do so. Today, in the isolated jungles of West Papua, a region that is increasingly restive under Indonesian rule, Freeport lays claim to the world's largest gold mine and one of its richest and most profitable copper mines. This volume is the first major analysis of the company's presence in Indonesia. It takes a close and detailed look at the changing nature of power relations between Freeport and Suharto, the Indonesian military, the traditional landowners (the Amungme and Kamoro), and environmental and human rights groups. It examines how and why an American company, despite such rigorous home-state laws, was able to operate in West Papua with impunity for nearly thirty years and adapt to, indeed thrive in, a business culture anchored in corruption, collusion, and nepotism.