Ecuador: Iraq mercenaries recruited

The US company Epi Security & Investigation says it has hired some 1,000 Colombian military and police veterans to work as mercenaries for the US occupation in Iraq. Epi is operating from a house near a US air base in the Ecuadoran city of Manta. The Bogota daily El Tiempo reported on Aug. 12 that the Colombian mercenaries receive salaries of between $2,500 and $5,000 a month—less than half the salary charged by their US counterparts. Most of the mercenaries are retired military officers or police agents who were trained by the US military and are accustomed to working with US troops. (La Jornada, Mexico, Aug. 13)

Ecuador’s minister of government, Mauricio Gandara, responded on Aug. 13 by announcing he will order an immediate investigation into Epi Security’s activities in Ecuador. Speaking from New York, where he was on a private visit, Gandara described the company’s recruitment of mercenaries as illegal and immoral. More than a year ago, the Latin American Human Rights Association revealed that Dyncorp, another US company which recruits mercenaries for US military projects, was operating in Manta. Two other competitors, Blackwater and Halliburton, also have representatives in Colombia and in Manta. (Prensa Latina, Aug. 13)

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, Aug. 15

See our last report on Ecuador, and on Colombian mercenaries in Iraq.

    1. You say tomato, I say tomah-to
      Today they’re called “defense services contractors.” Get with the program.

      And whaddaya mean “we”? Are you a high-level DoD bureaucrat? Nice to have you on board, General.

  1. Dyncorp Blackwater and Hallib
    Dyncorp Blackwater and Halliburton does not recruit mercenaries for US military projects. jeff shipp is offering the oppertunity..

    1. Who the hell is Jeff Ship…
      and why does he use such unorthodox spelling of “oppertunity” (sic)?

      “Dyncorp Blackwater and Halliburton does not recruit mercenaries for US military projects.”

      Oh, they does not? That’s very reassuring. Do you think maybe we could recruit some of those AWOL commas that your sentence is so desperately in need of?