Wired: Los Coyotes Band bribed with playground, Disneyland

"What to do when a Native American tribe doesn’t want to do business with your private security firm? One company has an answer: Remind them you were generous enough to promise the tribe’s kiddies a new children’s playground, and buy them trips to Disneyland and free iPods.

When Blackwater went looking for a place in San Diego County where it could train soldiers and law-enforcement officers in everything from sniper skills to combat-driving around 2006, it ran into a problem. Communities didn’t exactly want the controversial private security company, infamous for questionable killings of Iraqi civilians, anywhere near them.

But one Native American tribe, the Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeno Indians, was willing to hear Blackwater out. The isolated tribe, located near Warner Springs in California, had been struggling to squeeze out cash from its inhospitable land, reports the San Diego CityBeat. The reservation’s landscape was even reminiscent of the terrain of Afghanistan. And so it was a gold mine for private military contractors that needed training grounds."

Get the Story:
Mercs Tried to Bribe Indian Tribe … With a Playground (Wired 10/3)

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