America’s $33 Mercenaries
Press TV (2013)
This is a Press TV documentary about the $33 third world mercenaries lured into the Iraq war by private US private security companies like Blackwater and Triple Canopy. Unbeknownst to the American public, shortly after the 2003 invasion and occupation, the Pentagon began using private security firms to recruit private mercenaries to serve on the front line. In 2008, 70,000 of the western combatants were mercenaries, with 10% from the US and 90% from developing countries like Peru, Uganda and India.
The mercenaries were contracted through extremely profitable private security agencies like Triple Canopy (later renamed Special Operations Consulting), who charged the US government $15,000 a month per mercenary and paid the mercenaries $1,000 a month ($33 a day). By 2011, SOC discovered they could recruit mercenaries from poorer countries for $11 a day and reduced the pay scale even further.
The film follows the plight of Peruvian mercenaries SOC deliberately misled into believing they would be working as security guards in the Baghdad Green Zone (which is protected by US troops). Instead they found themselves deployed to the Basra front line in Basra when they finished their training in Jordan.
Those who were injured were denied proper medical care, resulting in needless deaths and horrendous disabilities. At present, the Peruvians in the film are suing SOC for reneging on the health and disability benefits injured mercenaries were guaranteed in their contract.
The documentary is in 2 parts, with Part 2 starting automatically when Part 1 finishes.