This is cool.  I got a Facebook friend request from a security company in Spain the other day, and I decided to do a little research on this market.  I couldn’t find anything in english, but I did find some stuff in spanish and I thought it would be cool to Google Translate some stuff and post it up here. This is from last year, but still pretty interesting.

     The point of this post is that this industry is global and it is massive. There is security contracting news going on all over the world and it is easy to miss.  My readership has definitely fed me all sorts of  stories from around the globe, and has even helped in translation or with the local vibe of their market. That is information gold to me, and I really enjoy filling the archives of the blog with those stories.  Check this one out and let me know what you think.-Matt

——————————————————————

The new mercenaries ‘made in Spain’

Lucas Marco / Valencia

Thursday January 8, 2009.

Private military companies have been cropping up in the Spanish market. Formed by ex-military, they offer all kinds of services to businesses and governments in conflict areas worldwide.

Private military companies have been consolidated as a new actor in the conflict. An example is the massive presence of private contractors in Iraq with U.S. occupation troops. To the Professor of International Law and International Relations, Francisco Javier López Quel, the emergence of these companies “is part of a privatization process started in the early 90s that affects health or the prison system.” This generates “the outsourcing of basic services the state in relation to the defense” that involves “a change in structure of hosts.” The High Commissioner of United Nations Human Rights recognizes that “armed conflicts, terrorism, arms trafficking and covert operations by third Powers, among other things, encourage the demand for mercenaries on the global market.”

The Spanish naval officer in the reserve and president of High Security Solutions, David Rivas acknowledged in an article published in the online magazine Athena Intelligence that “this is a very complex industry on the legal, administrative, logistical and operational, which requires professionals with years of industry experience and strong international networks of support, based on customer confidence, most legally established democratic governments. “

Outsourcing

Rivas believes that “the outsourcing of services by the Ministry of Defence in Spain is a relatively recent and has been characterized from the outset by the reluctance to admit civilian personnel who work with the military, and especially within military installations.” “States are reluctant to regulate these issues,” said Professor Francisco Javier López Quel during his speech at the Fourth Conference on Security and Defence held at the University of Valencia. “Spain has come to regulate this,” he adds. “We must not privatize certain services,” he says. “The profit motive does not efficient in these companies, but also in practice it has proved to be more effective than regular armies,” he explains. The High Commissioner of United Nations Human Rights requested in a resolution in 2003 to all States “to exercise the utmost vigilance against any kind of recruitment, training, hiring or financing of mercenaries by private companies offering international advisory services military and security, and specifically prohibits such companies’ intervening in armed conflicts or actions to destabilize constitutional regimes. ” Among the advantages of using these private armies, Dario Azzellini, author of The Business of War, said the legal vacuum in this respect: “Formally are civilians, can not be tried by military courts. At the same time, their contract says they can not be subject to civil justice in the countries in which they operate. Practically creates a field of impunity. “

HALLMARK SECURITY SOLUTIONS SL, OF IRAQ TO MEXICO

High Security Solutions is the trademark of Hallmark Security Solutions Ltd., a majority Spanish-owned company, dedicated to the protection services in travel and transportation (generally conflicting countries), protection of facilities (airport and maritime security, oil industry) services, defense and national security and intelligence. They also offer training and services to governments. This personal look between 25 and 40 years, with at least three years of military experience in operational units, good level of English or French, Spanish (or another EU country), Australian, Canadian or American without criminal records. With offices in Venezuela, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Chile and Iraqi Kurdistan, Hallmark Security Solutions (HSS) is a leading private military companies in the Spanish market. Its headquarters are located in Calle Antonio Lopez de Santander. Founded in 2006, the company claims that its management team “consists of personnel from the military and international relations.” Its president is David Rivas, a reserve officer in the Spanish navy has participated in several operations in Jordan, Iraq and Haiti to the U.S. company Hike Stalk Shoot International Inc., of which he was director of Latin American operations. According to the information contained in the Trade Register, on June 8, 2006 he was appointed sole director of Hallmark Security Solutions SL Humberto Monroy Rodrigo Frausto.

Code of Ethics

According to its “statement of ethical and legal principles,” the company “does not serve high-security, protection, intelligence and defense to those governments, institutions, public or private organizations or individuals who are convicted of crimes related to drug trafficking, terrorism , crimes against humanity, racism and xenophobia, crimes against religious freedom of thought, lack of respect for fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals, treason, espionage, political or embezzlement of public funds. ” It also adds that the firm will provide “defense services only to legally constituted and recognized governments.”

Some customers contrast with the ethical code of the company. This applies, for example, the Jordanian Army Special Forces or the Cisneros Group, known for his involvement in the coup of April 2002 against the democratic government of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela (noting that the company also has customers in the orbit of government in Venezuela as the Carabobo State Police or the Scientific and Criminal, the latter under the Ministry of People’s Power). HSS says that “each and every one of the services related to the defense sector should be made to third countries where appropriate, be authorized and / or approved by the Spanish government.”

As they say, his client list includes the Spanish police, Ford in Brazil, U.S. Marines, the State Department and the DEA, police and army in the Dominican Republic or the Immediate Response Panel in Mexico, among other .

ISMS, A SPANISH COMPANY OF “GLOBAL SECURITY”

“Mercenaries? Yes great honor. ” With these words spokesman reaffirmed Global Security Service and Intelligence, one of the largest companies in Spain, with a presence in countries such as Iraq, Israel, Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea.

Intelligence (ISMS), a Spanish company, was founded in 1995. According to the company, it is “the first Iberian private military company.” His spokesman, Victor Gonzalez, said in an interview that “to not create any problems and sensitivities are not hurt that Gibraltar is close to home and we are very comfortable.” It also states that “legislation and security consulting is more extensive and specifically in the context of the United Kingdom than in Spain.” And is that ISMS is one of the nearly 70,000 companies concentrated in the 6.5 square kilometers occupied by the Rock of Gibraltar (since June 2000, Gibraltar is contained in the blacklist of 35 tax havens identified by the OECD).

Gonzalez says that “do not provoke conflict or work outside the law without the knowledge or approval of the governments concerned to hire us.” Moreover, “the label of ours is not never participated in politics does not interest us,” he adds. Have an “ethics committee” and agree to maintain “more or less bilateral communication with the Spanish government.”

 A spokeswoman, who also is director of operations, does not mind being called mercenaries, “Mercenaries? Yes, very honored. The list is our homeland. Neither more nor less than any other security professional. ” As he explains, “between the staff in our company there are professionals who have long been committed to the fight against terrorism in Spain.” In relation to the collaboration of ISMS with CNI and other intelligence services, Gonzalez said that “whenever there is cooperation be communicating to private information as a service we can get in terms of game that can take and it certainly does not harm the interests of our customers. “

The company, which has a total of 411 directly hired workers, has suffered three casualties in Nigeria, says Gonzalez. As they say, working for companies such as Exxon or Agip in Nigeria and governments like Angola, Equatorial Guinea’s or that of Ghana. “Now we are opening new areas like sub-Saharan Africa,” the spokesman ISMS.

ISMS in Iraq and Israel

This newspaper and reviewing the ISMS Group work in Iraq in terms of protection of the leaders of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan held during the month of August 2007 (see DIAGONAL # 60). Also told of visits organized by ISMS, groups of Spanish-escorts former members of the armed forces or military leave, a training complex in Caesarea, an exclusive resort town of 4,500 inhabitants Israeli halfway between Tel Aviv and Haifa, currently managed by a private organization, the Corporation for the Development of Caesarea. In fact, the company spokesman, Victor Gonzalez confirmed in an interview Radiocable.com ties with the Israeli private military sector talking about the beginnings of his company: “We went to a couple of courses in Israel because we really wanted to professionalize more and, no doubt, that it is the cradle of security. ” “From this arises the possibility, partnering with an Israeli security expert, to go taking this forward,” he adds.

The business story

ISMS Group is part of Hyzanami Group. Indeed, under the Spanish Commercial Register, there is a company called Hyzanami & ISMS Group 2007 SL, whose registered office is located on Avenida Ramón y Cajal Fuengirola (Málaga). Its principal shareholder and sole director is a lawyer Sergio Martín Ruiz, who is also the position of director with Fernando Núñez F. Martin Núñez & S. Ruiz Abogados SL (incorporated on April 5, 2005). The company shares registered office Hyzanami & ISMS Group in Fuengirola. Both lawyers are also directors of a company focusing on real estate activities (Pastmartcon Ltd., incorporated on June 15, 2005) established at San Pancrazio in Marbella. Martin Nunez is listed as a signatory to a manifesto for freedom of “prisoners of conscience” in Cuba promoted by the FAES foundation of the Partido Popular.

“Wholesale”

Registry data denote a most curious fact. ISMS Hyzanami & SL Group 2007 social aims “marketing, import and export of food products and crafts typical of the country of origin, character and mineral raw materials, obtained by whatever method of extraction.” Their activity would therefore “the wholesale of agricultural raw materials, foodstuffs, beverages and tobacco.” However, with a simple click on Google, found a Hyzanami ad offering security services in an Internet portal. In this case give a direction (highway Castelldefels, 138) and a mobile phone contact. Mobile phone identical to that provided by the website of ISMS Group. To make matters worse, it also indicates an e-mail address of the company in Gibraltar.

The connection with Equatorial Guinea

But what is certainly remarkable thing about this business structure is that the sole director of Hyzanami, lawyer Pastor Sergio Ruiz, in turn, the representative in Spain of Manuel Rubén N’Dongo, “political leader and chief executive moderate opposition “based in Paris Equatorial Guinea, which in recent months, President Obiang has praised the release of some political prisoners, which has angered other sectors of the divided opposition in exile. The opposition politician’s website (which is claimed the liberal centrism and the Christian Democrats) are several articles of Malaga counsel’s opinion and sole director of Hyzanami. ISMS spokesman, Victor Gonzalez, explained his company’s relationship with the dictatorial regime of Teodoro Obiang giving his personal view on the former Spanish colony, “Army of Equatorial Guinea, at the request of its head of government, is now in a phase of restructuring, modernization and development, both potential and logistically very necessary for the country, especially in the light of continuing threats from illegitimate interests that encourage people involved in the politics of opposition from abroad to undermine the current and legitimized by the ballot, government excellence Teodoro Obiang. “In this area have been given guidelines on how to get human resources required for successful defense of the country,” Gonzalez specific reference to the activities of your company in the tropical country. Moreover, on 15 October ABC recounted the false rumors that circulated among certain political groups in exile of Equatorial Guinea in the Spanish state, under which Obiang have died. A spokesman for the opposition groups said the rumor was the result of poisoning from the environment poured Obiang himself. Also explained that the source would have suggested the rumor (false) death of the dictator Obiang narrated would have been “poisoned by members of a security company based in Gibraltar and that it belongs to a hispanoisraelí related to the Government [ Equatorial Guinea]. “

Story here.