Synopsis of Freeport’s Security Management Plan
Throughout the mine’s history, PT Freeport’s CoW (Contract of Work) area has seen a regular series of violent incidents. At least six foreigners have been shot and five killed in the last 43 years. The most infamous incident involving foreigners was the 2002 shooting at mile 62 in which two Americans were killed. The military have accused the Papuan separatists of carrying out every attack that has taken place. The police have suggested in at least once incident (2002, at mile 62 where two Americans and one Indonesian were killed) that the military were behind the attack. Human rights workers and political observers and even at times the Indonesian press have accused the security forces of being involved in some of these incidents. However, members of the Papuan separatist groups have also claimed responsibility in a number of the more recent incidents. They claim that they are at war with Indonesia and Freeport’s CoW is the battleground. Their spokesman has stated that, “Any attack on the military, police or Freeport is from us.”
As a result of these incidents, Freeport has had to confront an unstable security situation. It is this need for security that has compelled Freeport to befriend the Indonesian military and police. It needs to be noted that Freeport is considered to be a “Vital National Object” which by law mandates military or police security. Until 2014, this role belonged to the military. Then a presidential order in 2014 tasked the police with the role. However, Freeport and the military signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in December 2019 in which the security role was returned to the military. Up until April 1999, the police were a branch under the military. In 1999, they became their own separate service. Since 1999, there has been competition between the police and the military for control of national resources. Under the current president Joko Widodo’s government, the police have generally been favored over the military.
A report issued in the New York Times in 2007 claims that from 1998 through 2004, Freeport gave military and police generals, colonels, majors and captains, and military units, nearly USD 20 million. Individual commanders received tens of thousands of dollars, in one case up to USD 150,000, according to the documents. These documents were allegedly provided by an individual close to Freeport and confirmed as authentic by current and former employees. A former company official told the Times that in 1998 Chairman of the Freeport board, Mr. Moffett, met with a group of senior Indonesian military officers at the Sheraton Hotel in the lowland town of Timika, near the mine. General Prabowo Subianto, son-in-law of President Suharto and commander of the Indonesian Special Forces, presided. “Mr. Moffett, to protect you, to protect your company, you have to help the military here,” General Prabowo began, according to the company employee who was present.
Mr. Moffett is said to have replied: “Just tell me what I need to do.” Each military service drew up its wish list, current and former company employees said. In short order, Freeport spent USD 35 million on military infrastructure – barracks, headquarters, mess halls, roads – and it also gave the commanders 70 Land Rovers and Land Cruisers, which were replaced every few years.
Freeport started making direct monthly payments to Indonesian military commanders, while the Security Risk Management office handled the payments to the police, according to company documents and current and former employees. In interviews, current and former employees said that at least an additional USD 10 million was also paid during those years (1998-2004). The records show that the largest recipient was the commander of the troops in the Freeport area, Lt. Col. Togap F. Gultom.
During six months in 2001, Lt. Col. Togap F. Gultom was given just under USD 100,000 for “food costs,” according to the company records, and more than USD 150,000 the following year. Freeport gave at least 10 other commanders a total of more than USD 350,000 for “food costs” in 2002, according to the records. Freeport also gave commanders commercial airplane tickets for themselves and their wives and children. Generals flew first or business class and lower ranking officers flew economy, said Brig. Gen. Ramizan Tarigan, who received USD 14,000 worth of tickets in 2002 for himself and his family. In April 2002, the company gave the senior commander of forces in Papua, Maj. Gen. Mahidin Simbolon, more than USD 64,000, for what was described in Freeport’s books as “fund for military project plan 2002.” Eight months later, in December, he was given more than USD 67,000 for a “humanitarian civic action project.” The payments were first reported by Global Witness. The police Mobile Brigade (BRIMOB), a paramilitary force received more than USD 200,000 in 2003. In later filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Freeport reported that it had paid the military a total of USD 4.7 million in 2001, and USD 5.6 million in 2002. More recent data is not available.
Historical Security Incident List
Below is a non-exhaustive list of similar major incidents in and around the Freeport operational area over the last 43 years:
- Aerial bombing of Akimuga (Freeport mine area) by Indonesian air force to suppress independence movement and protect Freeport. The attack was allegedly in response to local’s attack on the mine;
- March – A Freeport employee was shot and killed on the road near Mile 62. An Australian employee was shot and wounded in the same incident. Armed forces battalions 752 and 733 were accused by human rights groups of posing as a TPN/OPM (Papuan armed separatists) unit and carrying out the attack. The military claimed it was the OPM/TPN;
- January – OPM militants led by Kelly Kwalik held 26 members of the Lorentz Expedition; hostage in Mapenduma (borders Mimika). This triggered the Mapenduma hostage crisis;
- March – Riots in Timika and Tembagapura by local dissatisfied Papuans upset with Freeport policies. Military is accused by locals of instigating the riots;
- April – A shooting took place in a hangar at Timika airport by a soldier run amok. Sixteen people were killed including a New Zealander;
- May – Mapenduma hostage crisis ended with the raid on OPM base in Geselama, Mimika, two hostages died following the KOPASSUS – Indonesian Special Forces – raid;
- December – Two Freeport environmental unit employees were shot at the Grasberg mine site. No investigation into the attack was conducted. The shootings were reportedly carried out by unidentified gunmen wearing military uniforms;
- April – Kopassus attacked Papuan civilians in the lowland hamlet of Kali Kopi in which one civilian was killed and seven others were arrested and allegedly tortured;
- May – Five to seven alleged Papuans holding axes and one revolver attacked Freeport security guards at the main office building. They threw Molotov cocktails;
- August – Gunmen attacked a group of American school teachers and local employees traveling between the lowlands and highlands. Two Americans and one Indonesian were killed, and seven Americans and an Indonesian were wounded. Indonesian officials placed responsibility on the OPM (Papuan Separatist Group). A spokesman for the group denied involvement. Elements within the military have also been accused of being involved;
- March – Three policemen and an airman were killed and 24 other people injured during a clash with Papuan students who had been demanding closure of Freeport’s Grasberg mine;
- March – One Indonesian army soldier was killed during an attack against a security post in Tingginambut Puncak Jaya regency, borders Mimika regency). The OPM was blamed;
- April – An attack against a convoy of police in Tingginambut killed one and wounded six. The OPM was blamed;
- July – Freeport employee (Australian) was shot dead in his vehicle in an attack on the Freeport road when in transit. An Indonesian Freeport security guard was also killed. Several people were injured. Some elements in Indonesian media suggested military/police involvement;
- December – The OPM leader Kelly Kwalik was shot by Indonesian police during a raid in Timika and died in Timika Hospital;
- January – Unknown assailants ambushed a convoy traversing the Freeport road. Nine people were injured. The OPM denied responsibility;
- March – Unconfirmed reports from locals of multiple shooting incidents in and around the Freeport mining concession;
- March – Rebels attacked an Indonesian military convoy, injuring some of the soldiers;
- Multiple incidents between OPM and security forces in Nduga, Puncak Jaya, Lanny Jaya and Intan Jaya regencies on Mimika borders;
- April (2011) – Two Freeport employees were killed when the company car they were traveling in caught fire. Bullets were found inside the car, giving weight to the suspicion that the car was fired upon by unknown gunmen;
- September – Freeport vehicles fired upon;
- October – BRIMOB (Armed Police Brigade) officer was shot and killed in Mimika. A West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) unit claimed responsibility;
- November – Hostage incident in Banti/Kimbeli villages (Tembagapura). The military claimed that migrant workers from Indonesia’s Sulawesi island villages were being held hostage by the TPNPB which was disputed by a number of observers. Eventually. Indonesian police and military evacuated more than 340 Sulawesi migrants from the villages. The police stated there was an exchange of gunfire with the TPNPB. Freeport began evacuating mine workers families from the mining town of Tembagapura. Shots had been fired on a Freeport vehicle and two large mining trucks set on fire;
- November – A BRIMOB officer was shot and killed in Mimika with an TPNPB unit taking responsibility. Two TPNPB were injured in gunfire. Freeport temporarily shut the main supply route to its Grasberg mine complex. A civilian employee of a catering service provider within Freeport died in suspicious circumstances whilst traveling to his village;
- July – A series of gunfights were reported between the TPNPB and Indonesian security forces in Freeport area. No casualties were reported;
- July – Increasing unrest and incidents in Nduga, Puncak Jaya, Lanny Jaya and Intan Jaya regencies on Mimika borders;
- December – Construction crew working on a bridge in the Nduga regency was attacked and at least 21 were killed;
- January – Police arrested and charged three members of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) with treason. They were arrested in Timika following a joint army-police raid on the KNPB headquarters;
- November – Alleged Papuan gunmen fired at an escort car owned by PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) in Mimika around Mile 60. The expat driver and two Indonesian passengers were unscathed;
- January – Several buses transporting employees of PT Freeport Indonesia were fired upon in another shooting by unknown attackers, believed to be Papuan separatists. The convoy of vehicles was fired at around Mile 53 between Tembagapura and Timika;
- February – There was a clash between the security forces and a group of Papuans allegedly led by Joni Botak in Jipabera, Tembagapura Subdistrict, in Mimika District. A police officer from the mobile brigade unit was wounded in the gunfight and later died of his injuries;
- March – A Tembagapura Sector Police car was attacked in Utikini village, Mimika Regency. The TPNPB also reported destroying a bridge on the road from Tembagapura to Opitawak that month;
- March – A shootout between the TPNPB and the Indonesian Security Forces took place at the military Post in Opitawak village. The TPNPB claimed killing five members of the Indonesian Security Forces. These claims have been denied by the military. Reports from the area claim that 800-900 villagers from Longsoran, Batu Besar and Kimbeli villages have evacuated to a police headquarters in Tembagapura on Friday March 6 because of these incidents. At least 2,000 village refugees are now reported to be in Timika;
- March – The military reported a fatality when one of their soldiers was shot dead while at Islamic morning prayers;
- March – Four alleged Papuan seperatists were allegedly killed in an incident near the Freeport mine in Mimika regency. A firefight apparently took place in Kali Bua village in Mimika district near the mining town of Tembagapura between security forces and a rebel group;
- March – A New Zealand national with gold and copper mining company PT Freeport Indonesia was killed in a shooting incident in Kuala Kencana, Mimika.
 Data has been compiled from the APAC database, ELSAM Indonesia <www.elsam.or.id/id> and ELSHAM Papua <https://www.ictj.org/sites/default/files/ICTJ-ELSHAM-Indonesia-Papua-2012-English.pdf>