West Papua Report
This is the 123rd in a series of monthly reports that
focus on developments affecting Papuans. This series is produced by the
non-profit West Papua Advocacy Team (WPAT) drawing on media accounts,
other NGO assessments, and analysis and reporting from sources within
West Papua. This report is co-published by the East Timor and Indonesia
Network (ETAN). Back issues are posted online at
Questions regarding this report can be addressed to Edmund McWilliams at
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The Report leads with
"Perspective," an analysis piece; followed by "Update," a summary of
some developments during the covered period; and then "Chronicle" which
includes analyses, statements, new resources, appeals and action alerts
related to West Papua. Anyone interested in contributing a Perspective
or responding to one should write to
email@example.com. The opinions expressed
in Perspectives are the author's and not necessarily those of WPAT or
For additional news on West Papua see the reg.westpapua listserv
archive or on Twitter.
This edition's PERSPECTIVE by David
Webster that explores the role of US business in the Kennedy
administration's decision to block Papuan self-determination and
facilitate Indonesian annexation of West Papua.
UPDATE announces that the West Papua Advocacy Team
(WPAT) is awarding dual recipients for its annual "John Rumbiak Human
Rights Defender Award." For 2014, WPAT honors New
Zealand activist Maire Leadbetter and Catherine Delahunty and the Green
Party of New Zealand. Also, the Melanesian Spearhead
Group has shelved a Papuan application for membership, pending since
2013. West Papuans are calling for a boycott of
the July 9 Indonesian Presidential election. Papuan human rights
activists expressed concerns about a Prabowo
Indonesia said it cancelled a New Zealand police training program
because of "hidden motives." There have
been renewed calls for UN monitors to go to West
Papua to verify charges of human rights violations, and Papuans
spoke out about the denial of their rights at a
church-sponsored gathering at the margins of the UN Permanent Forum on
CHRONICLE notes a statement
by 32 international organizations for the next Indonesian
administration to address long-standing security force impunity for
human rights crimes; to make reparations to those who have suffered
abuses at the hands of security forces; and to establish civilian
control of the military. A panel discusses Papuan
rights in Geneva. A new video highlights human
rights violations in West Papua. Human rights advocate Yan Christian
Warinussy urges President Yudhoyono to release West
Papuan political prisoners and open the territory before he leaves
office, and a commentary by prominent Papuan
academic Budi Hernawan on the "choices" confronting Papuans in the
Indonesian presidential election. A three-part series on links the
spread of AIDS/HIV in West Papua to the Freeport
Did US Business Shape Early US Policy That
Thwarted Papuan Self-Determination?
by David Webster
David Webster is associate professor at Bishop's University in
Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada.
By now it is well accepted that President John F. Kennedy’s
administration was responsible for the deal that saw West Papua handed
over from Dutch to Indonesian rule, via a United Nations Temporary
Executive Authority. The UN interim rule was indeed first suggested by
Indonesia’s government, which offered to “borrow the hand of the United
Nations”  in order to spare the Dutch government the
embarrassment of transferring control of West Papua directly to their
and Sukarno, Andrews Air Force Base, Suitland,
Maryland, April 1961. Photo JFK Library and Museum.
Why did the Kennedy administration decide to intervene?
Researchers generally cite cold war motives (the fear that Indonesia
might “go communist” if not appeased with control of West Papua) and a
background of racism in American policy (the belief that West Papuans
were “still living in the Stone Age” and could therefore never be
independent on their own).  These are not wrong, but
could there have been other reasons? In particular, given the way West
Papuan natural resources later emerged as major money-spinners for the
Indonesian treasury and for such American corporations as Freeport
McMoRan, could business interests have played a role?
The notes that follow are speculative, but they suggest that it’s at
least possible that there were economic reasons supporting the diplomacy
that saw West Papua come under Indonesian rule starting on May 1, 1963.
American and other foreign companies saw potential resources in West
Papua to exploit, but also saw that the continued Dutch-Indonesian
dispute for control made investment risky and perhaps impossible. These
companies would have wished for a stable resolution to the conflict and
a government that would grant them a favorable investment climate. There
are at least four companies relevant to this case: Freeport McMoRan, US
Steel, Standard Oil, and Inco.
A subsidiary of US Steel was active in West Papua in this period. Nickel
and cobalt were known to exist in large quantities in the Cyclops
Mountains near Jayapura, and on Gag and Waigeo islands off the west
coast. One of the last acts of the Dutch New Guinea regime in March 1962
was a contract for mining rights to islands of Gag and Waigeo with
Pacific Nickel Co., a subsidiary of US Steel; this was renewed by the
Indonesian government in 1972.
Freeport urged the US government to seek a settlement of the
Indonesian-Dutch dispute in order to allow it to start mining
the huge deposits it knew were there - but could not get at, so
long as West Papua was disputed territory and potentially a
Dutch-Indonesian war zone.
Freeport, the US-based mining multinational, was already
aware of the vast copper deposits of the Ertsberg (Ore Mountain) that it
would later mine for vast wealth. Freeport had already found the deposit
in the late 1950s, and urged the US government to seek a settlement of
the Indonesian-Dutch dispute in order to allow it to start mining the
huge deposits it knew were there -- but could not get at, so long as
West Papua was disputed territory and potentially a Dutch-Indonesian war
zone. Copper deposits at Ertsberg were was discovered in 1936 and
reported to Freeport. In 1960, a Freeport manager (Forbes K. Wilson)
climbed the mountain and concluded that “the Ertsberg was indeed a
unique deposit and probably the largest above-ground outcrop of base
metal in the world.” Freeport was unable to get a deal signed, but
started negotiations once Indonesian control was secure. In 1967, it
signed the first big foreign-investment agreement with the Suharto
Robert Lovett, a top Kennedy adviser and
official in the Department of State, was a director of Freeport. It
seems at least possible that the administration was influenced by
Freeport’s wish to see a settlement to the dispute. This possibility is
underlined by the willingness of other officials in the administration
to work with American companies. Under-Secretary of State Averell
Harriman, another Kennedy adviser, certainly was willing to express
views of US oil companies to Indonesian officials. He invited the two US
oil giants active in Indonesia to lobby him at any time, and it seems
unlikely that Stanvac (a consortium of Standard Oil of New Jersey and
Mobil) and Caltex (a consortium of Chevron and Texaco) never knocked on
that door. These two majors and the British-Dutch Shell consortium
(transferred briefly to Canadian paper ownership during the
Indonesian-Dutch dispute) were interested in West Papua and in seeing
Indonesia on good terms with the West so they could continue to invest
in Indonesia on favorable terms.
Indeed, the resolution of the West Papua dispute allowed American
mediators to bring together the two American oil giants operating in
Indonesia with President Sukarno’s government to strike a new agreement
in 1963 that granted new exploration rights to Caltex and Stanvac, at a
time when the Sukarno government had been threatening to turn to smaller
oil companies and even nationalize the American majors. A settlement of
the Dutch-Indonesian confrontation over West Papua made these talks
possible and therefore served the interests of US-based oil interests.
There is at least one letter from John D. Rockefeller Jr. (Standard
Oil/Stanvac) on file in the Kennedy administration National Security
papers, expressing real fears that Indonesia might act to nationalize US
oil interests if the dispute over West Papua was not settled on terms
satisfactory to Indonesia.
Though less central than the oil companies, the international nickel
company Inco, headquartered in Canada but in reality heavily US-owned
also had potential interests in West Papua resources, and even more so
in making sure its prospective Indonesian interests in Sulawesi could go
ahead. Inco was the second company after Freeport to sign a contract for
mining with the Suharto regime, opening large mining operations in South
and Southeast Sulawesi provinces that netted major profits and still
Finally, Dutch business interests were also active in seeking a
settlement. Especially prominent was the Rijkens group, an informal
gathering of Dutch businessmen headed by Paul Rijkens, former managing
director of Unilever, and including top executives from a number of
other large Dutch corporations. Several Dutch multinational corporations
had supported the transfer of West New Guinea to Indonesia since 1950.
Secret Rijkens Group talks with Sukarno regime took place in April-June
1961. Prince Bernhard, husband of the Dutch Queen, informed Kennedy
administration officials on several occasions that Dutch business wanted
West Papua to go to Indonesia, a step that would permit freer Dutch
investment in the lucrative Indonesian economy.  While the Dutch
government until 1962 insisted it had a sacred duty to prepare West
Papua for independence and political leaders swore they would never hand
the territory to Indonesia, officials in Washington also heard clearly
other Dutch voices, centered in the business sector, making an opposing
case to their government’s rhetoric. This too might have made it easier
for the Kennedy administration to force its NATO ally to the bargaining
table, and then apply pressure to accept Indonesia’s offer to “borrow
the hand of the United Nations” in order to ease a transfer of West
Papua from Dutch to Indonesian control.
There is no “smoking gun” indicating that multinational corporations
pushed for the agreement that saw West Papua pass under Indonesian rule
in 1963. Yet there is at least circumstantial evidence suggesting that
business interests were well satisfied with the outcome. The development
of Indonesian-ruled West Papua since the 1960s certainly shows a
prominent role being played by multinational business in the
exploitation of the territory’s natural resources. This story may well
have started before Indonesian rule took hold.
 President Sukarno, Memorandum of conversation in
Washington, April 24, 1961, Foreign Relations of the United States,
1961-3, vol. 23: 382-90.
 The most detailed source for the 1962 phase of the
negotiations is Terence C. Markin, “The West Irian Dispute: How the
Kennedy Administration Resolved that ‘Other’ Southeast Asian Conflict”
(PhD dissertation, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996). See also
Christopher McMullen, Mediation of the West New Guinea Dispute, 1962:
A Case Study (Washington, DC: Institute for the Study of Diplomacy,
1981); William Henderson, West New Guinea: The Dispute and Its
Settlement (South Orange, NJ: Seton Hall University Press, 1973). A
crucial study for this period is Bradley R. Simpson, Economists with
Guns: Authoritarian Development and US-Indonesian Relations, 1960–1968
(Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2008).
 H.G. Verhoeff, Netherland New Guinea: A Bird’s
Eye View (The Hague: n.p., 1958), p. 49; Klees Lagerberg, West
Irian and Jakarta Imperialism (London: C. Hurst & Company, 1979), p.
10, 120; Nonie Sharp, The Rule of the Sword: The Story of West Irian
(Malmsbury, Australia: Kibble Books, 1977), p. 34.
 Forbes K. Wilson, the first president of Freeport
Indonesia, letter printed in Geoffrey S. Hope et al, eds., The
Equatorial Glaciers of New Guinea: Results of the 1971-1973 Australian
Universities’ Expedition to Irian Jaya (Rotterdam: A.A. Balkema,
1976), p. 7. See also Forbes Wilson, The Conquest of Copper Mountain
(New York: Atheneum, 1981) and Matt Richards, Freeport in Indonesia:
Reconciling Development and Indigenous Rights (Canberra: Australian
Council for Overseas Aid, 1996).
 David Webster, Fire and the Full Moon: Canada and
Indonesia in a Decolonizing World (Vancouver: University British
Columbia Press, 2009); Greg Poulgrain, “Delaying the ‘Discovery’ of Oil
in West New Guinea.” Journal of Pacific History 34 no. 2 (1999): 205-18.
 John D. Rockefeller III to Rusk, 6 Feb. 1962, John
F. Kennedy Library, National Security Files, box 206.
 Webster, Fire and the Full Moon; Jamie Swift,
The Big Nickel: Inco at Home and Abroad (Toronto: Between the
 Dean Rusk memorandum, Dec. 29, 1950, Foreign
Relations of the United States 1950, vol. 6: 1102; Willem Oltmans,
“Stage by Stage Recapitulation of the Dispute,” United Asia 14 (Feb.
1962); Rudy de Iongh, “West Irian Confrontation,” in T.K.Tan, ed.,
Sukarno’s Guided Indonesia (Jacaranda Press, 1967), p. 111.
 US embassy The Hague to Department of State, April
10, 1961, John F. Kennedy Library, President’s Office Files, Box 122a;
Henry G. Walter memo to State Department, May 3, 1961, JFKL, NSF Box
WPAT Honors Prominent New
Zealanders For Defending Human Rights in West Papua
The West Papua Advocacy Team (WPAT) is pleased to announce that it
is awarding dual "John Rumbiak Human Rights Defenders Awards" for 2014.
This unprecedented dual award, including two $500 stipends and two
plaques, honors the articulate and effective defense of Papuan human
rights voiced by both political and citizen advocates in New Zealand.
The awardees are:
Catherine Delahunty and the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand and
The Green Party has manifested robust opposition to "aid
that kills," challenging in particular the New Zealand Government's
"community policing program" in West
Papua. The Greens also have been strong advocates for Papuan freedom of
speech and have sought to provide a platform for Papuan rights advocates
in parliament and elsewhere in New Zealand.
|In 2009, Green MP
Catherine Delahunty (center) and Maire Leadbeater
(far left) campaign against
illegally logged hardwood with West Papua's
and a supportive
cassowary bird. Photo from
Maire Leadbeater has been a uniquely
persuasive advocate in New Zealand for protecting human rights in the
region, helping lead the East Timor Human Rights Campaign and now
notably the New Zealand solidarity/support movement and West Papua
As a writer, local public official and activist she has worked
tirelessly to inform key government offices and political forces within
New Zealand of the human rights crisis in West Papua. She has worked
particularly effectively with New Zealand Greens, with whom she has
forged an effective strategy for ensuring that the plight of New
Zealand's neighbors in West Papua is well understood in New Zealand and
around the world.
With this 2014 dual award, the West Papua Advocacy Team recognizes these
courageous and effective New Zealand voices.
Previous awardees are Carmel Budiardjo
and Tapol (UK, 2008), John M.
Miller and the East Timor and Indonesian Action Network
(U.S., 2009), Andreas Harsono
(Indonesia, 2010), U.S.
Congressional Delegate Eni Faleomavaega (American Samoa, 2011), and
the Australia West Papua Association
(2012). Last year's award was given to Powes
Parkop, Governor of the Port Moresby and the National Capital
District of Papua New Guinea.
Melanesian Spearhead Group
Under Jakarta Pressure Shelves Papuan Appeal
June 26 communiqué, the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) announced
it would not act upon the 2013 Papuan request for membership in the MSG.
Rather, it called on Papuans to "form an inclusive and united umbrella
group in consultation with Indonesia to work on submitting a fresh
application." The Communiqué said that the decision was based on a
report by a delegation of MSG Foreign
Ministers visited Indonesia, January 11-15, 2014, to conduct an
assessment on the 2013 application for membership submitted by the West
Papua National Coalition for Liberation (WPNCL) and to examine the human
rights situation in West Papua. (The Vanuatu Foreign Minister boycotted
the visit over concern that Indonesia's arrangements for the visit
precluded an opportunity for a genuine fact-finding mission.)
The MSG communiqué also:
"(iii) Welcomed and noted the
progress on greater autonomy in Papua and the recent announcement by
the President of Indonesia to withdraw the military from West Papua;
"(iv) Endorsed that the MSG and Indonesia take a more proactive
approach in addressing the issue of West Papua and Papua by
undertaking the initiative to conduct greater awareness on the
situation in Papua and West Papua Provinces with respective to the
Special Autonomy Arrangements and how this has contributed
positively to the Governance of the Provinces by the local
"(v) Endorsed that the MSG continue to hold dialogue with Indonesia
on the issue of West Papua and Papua and encourage and support the
establishment of bilateral cooperation arrangements with Indonesia
with specific focus on social and economic development and
empowerment for the people of Papua and West Papua Provinces";
(see full text of the communiqué at
WPAT Comment: The MSG decision to effectively shelve the Papuan
application for membership in the MSG constitutes a victory for
Indonesia's campaign of intimidation and bribes targeting MSG members.
President Yudhoyono has visited the region and several MSG leaders
have been invited to Jakarta. Jakarta has ramped up "cooperation" with
its neighbors including inducements such as a free trade agreement with
Papua New Guinea and plans for a military and police Academy in Fiji.
The much-anticipated MSG Foreign Ministers visit to West Papua
devolved into a Potemkin tour of
a four hour stop over in Jayapura.
Rather than focus on the violations of
human rights and specifically the denial of the right to
self-determination, the MSG leaders have adopted the ploy of many
international governments, notably the U.S., averting attention from
rights issues to "development." The MSG, like the U.S. and others have
gone so far as to frame its hopes for "development" in the context of
the failed Jakarta "Special Autonomy" scheme.
MSG member Vanuatu notably has
adopted a separate approach which
is focused on protecting Papuan human rights and also raising the issue
of Papuan self-determination.
Papuans can take some consolation in
the reality that while MSG leaders, with the important exception of
Vanuatu, continue to ignore their plight, some political parties in the
region, such as the
Social Democratic Liberal Party of Fiji, have expressed support for
Papuan rights, including the right to self determination. Similarly,
civil society groups such as the
Fiji Women's Crisis Center have taken public stands on behalf of
Papuan human rights.
Papuan Calls for Boycott of
Papuan voices have called for Papuans to boycott the July 9 Presidential
elections. Among them are Papuan exile Benny Wenda and the West Papua
National Committee (KNPB). KNPB First Chairman
Agus Kossay told local media that "future fate of the people of West
Papua is in our own hands" and not those of the colonial state. "[It's]
nonsense to say after Jokowi or Prabowo became President, the fate of
West Papua would be better," he added.
Wenda wrote "Today West Papua is illegally occupied by Indonesia. We
have a right to freedom. We will vote in a proper referendum on
self-determination. But we will not vote in any election that continues
Indonesia's brutal and occupation of our land."
Papuan Human Rights Activists Oppose Presidential
Papuan human rights activists have joined Indonesian advocates
to publicly oppose Prabowo Subianto for president. The Papuans have
formed a coalition under the banner of the "Movement Against Forgetting
Pastor John Jonga, recipient of the 2009 Yap Thiam Hiem human rights
award, called on the Papuan people not to forget the human rights
violations that have occurred. He mentioned the May 13, 1996 case in
Mapenduma, where a military attack followed the release of several
hostages. Eight civilians were killed and several villages in the area
being burnt to the ground. He said that "several military officers must
be held accountable, including [presidential candidate] Prabowo
Prabowo participate in
efforts to negotiate the release of hostages in 1996, but scuttled the
ICRC facilitated negotiations on the eve of their successful conclusion
according to senior ICRC officials involved in the effort. (See
January 2013 West Papua Report).
Prabowo's opponent Joko Widodo has within his circle a number of
former senior military leaders, including General Hendropryono,
whose career involved serious human rights abuse and impunity for
security forces operating in West Papua.
Indonesian Government Alleges "Hidden
Motives" in Cancelled NZ Police Training
After Indonesia cancelled a police training program in West Papua,
a senior officer said that police intelligence reports suggested
there were "hidden motives" behind the New Zealand-funded program. New
Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT)
confirmed in late May that the program
had been suspended, but refused to answer specific questions about the
On June 17, the deputy chief of the Indonesia National Police, Comr.
Gen. Badrodin Haiti, cited concerns about the program's motives as the
reason for its cancellation: "We refused it based on the input from head
of [the] Police's Security Intelligent agency, Comr. Gen. Suparni Parto,
that there could be a hidden motive behind the aid."
Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty said that such aid perpetuates "an
oppressive status quo." She added "We need to have a positive
relationship with Indonesia and engage with them respectfully on the
West Papua issue, challenging them to negotiate for peace,"
She said the community policing model only works where the government
has a "robust and genuine commitment to human rights" and communities
that could trust police. "The opposite situation exists in West Papua
where the rhetoric of human rights is undermined daily," Delahunty said.
Renewed Calls for UN
Monitors To Be Allowed Into West Papua
International human rights groups meeting at the UN Human Rights
Council in Geneva
renewed calls for United Nations monitors to be allowed into West
Papua provinces, to document and address gross human rights violations.
Norman Voss from the
International Coalition for West Papua said "We look at what local
human rights organizations in Papua are documenting - we see we have a
quite a high number of cases of torture, of political arrests during
He called "West Papua, in a way, is the wild west of Indonesia....
There's a lot of money, a lot of resource-extraction and the security
forces are benefiting from the ongoing conflict and from this situation.
The social gap between indigenous Papuans and other Indonesians who have
moved to Papua over the last two decades, is getting wider and wider."
Papuans Speak Before
"Repentance is Decolonization" was
the topic of a May side event to the United Nations Permanent Forum
on Indigenous Issues, held at the Church Center for the United Nations
in New York. Organized by The Decolonization Alliance,
Menase W. Kaisiepo of West Papua, living in the Netherlands, spoke of
the subjugation and occupation of his country by Indonesia. "We want
self-determination," he said. "We welcome this call for reconciliation
and are happy to have the support of the Methodist Church."
Activist Moiwend spoke about how in her indigenous religion there is a
father and son, and when the Catholic Church came, the concepts were
similar and acceptable. Then, the occupying church banned their native
activities and cultural practices. "My generation has to learn the
history of the land," she said, as she held up a small flag, a symbol of
resistance -- possessing it can lead to arrest. Churches are important,
as some of them allow and amplify the voice of the people. She added
that "some pastors are targeted by the military."
Groups Map Out Rights Agenda
for New Indonesia Government
In a late June,
human rights groups urged
the next government of Indonesia "to break with the past [and] fully and
meaningfully address the legacy of impunity for past human rights
violations," adding that "the continued lack of accountability for past
and ongoing violations of human rights threatens lasting progress."
In early October, a new parliament will be sworn in and the winner of
the July 9 presidential contest will take office later that month.
The new Indonesian government should release the dozens of
political prisoners from West Papua and elsewhere.
The statement, coordinated by the East Timor and Indonesia
Network (ETAN) and signed by 32 organizations, including WPAT, based in
a dozen countries, urged the Indonesia government to "provide meaningful
reparations for the victims, survivors and their families of egregious
human rights crime."
On West Papua, the groups
They concluded that
- Indonesian security forces operate with near impunity in the
provinces of West Papua and Papua. The environment for freedom of
expression and peaceful assembly has deteriorated significantly in
the past year as a result of an increasingly repressive approach to
the policing of peaceful political activities. The number of
political arrests more than doubled in 2013 and the number of
reported cases of torture and ill-treatment quadrupled. In conflict
areas, police 'sweepings' that drive villagers from their homes led
to further violence and arbitrary arrests of civilians. The
Indonesian government continues to jail peaceful protesters, many
for raising or simply possessing the banned West Papuan Morning Star
flags. The new Indonesian government should release the dozens of
political prisoners from West Papua and elsewhere. Restrictions on
access to West Papua by international journalists, human rights
investigators, and humanitarian organizations must end. The new
government should open internationally-mediated negotiations with
West Papuan civil society on their political status and other human
- The new government must commit to full justice and
accountability for past crimes, impose a zero tolerance for new
abuses, and implement the structural reforms needed to bring police
and military fully under civilian control and the rule of law.
Panel Discusses Papuan
Rights in Geneva
A June 12 side event at the UN Human
Rights Council in Geneva discussed Video of the event can be
Speaking were Victor Mambor, Alliance of
Independent Journalists, Papua chapter;
Esther Cann, Tapol, Budi Hernawan, Franciscans International; and
Benjamin Joku, Pro Papua Foundation, Netherlands. The event was
moderated by Norman Voss of the International Coalition for Papua.
The event was organized by the Asian
Legal Resource Center, Franciscans International, International
Coalition for Papua, Pro Papua Foundation, Tapol, Vivat International,
and West Papua Netzwerk.
and Petition Regarding West Papua
"Something Kreative" Studios has produced a PSA with the actor Ryan
Phillippe which is aimed at bringing awareness to the "world's least
talked about genocide. The video links to a petition to the White House.
Before He Leaves Office, SBY Has Important Unfinished Business
June 26 statement Yan Christian Warinussy, Executive Director of
LP3BH-Merauke, called on President Yudhoyono, before he leaves office,
to release all Papuan political prisoners and allow access to foreign
journalists and human rights NGOs to West Papua.
Jokowi or Prabowo: For Papuans A
Choice or A Dilemma?
Prominent Papuan commentator Budi
written a thoughtful assessment for the Jakarta Post regarding the
choice -- some would say dilemma -- facing Papuans with over their vote
for Indonesian President on July 9. Hernawan notes that neither of the
candidates, Joko Widodo nor Prabowo Subianto have had much to say about
West Papua. Widodo has close ties to former President Megawati who
betrayed the promise of her predecessor Abdul Rahim Wahid (Gus Dur) by
abandoning his unprecedented initiatives towards Papuans. Widodo also
has the support of a number of generals, notably including former
Commander Wiranto, who have notorious human rights records. Prabowo has
a particularly black reputation among Papuans who have not forgotten his
central role in the Mapenduma campaign which terrorized the central
AIDS/HIV in West Papua
A three-part series on AIDS/HIV in West
Papua by Carole Reckinger and Antoine Lemaire in the Australian online
publication New Matilda links the spread of AIDS in the region to the
Freeport mining complex. The series follows Jimmy, a young highlander
with HIV and examines "the social and economic realities that facilitate
the spread of the virus in Papua." They write that "little sustainable
infrastructure has been created especially in terms of access to health
and education." Jimmy keeps "his status a secret from his family and
friends and is reluctant to seek medical help." Part 1:
The Curse of Gold; Part 2:
Blaming the Victim; Part 3:
An Unhealthy System