Money

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Invested Millions in Scandal-Plagued Private Prisons, Defense Contractor

| by Michael Allen

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation says on its website that it "works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives."

While the Gates Foundation has invested in many worthy projects to help people worldwide, some of the Gates Foundation Trust investments seem to contradict its admirable goal.

Mother Jones recently analyzed the Gates Foundation's 2012 tax return to see where it was investing its money.

Probably the most surprising investment was $2.2 million into a private prison company, The GEO Group, which has been accused of numerous human rights abuses and violations.

According to the Palm Beach Post, The GEO Group has a laundry list of incidents in its private prisons.

The State of Texas even canceled an $8 million contract with The GEO Group because of a juvenile jail where officials found feces on walls and floors, locked emergency exits and excessive use of pepper spray on minors.

“[The GEO Group] knowingly put workers at risk of injury or death by failing to implement well recognized measures that would protect employees from physical assaults by inmates,” stated Clyde Payne, OSHA’s director in Jackson, Miss.

Mother Jones also found that the Gates Foundation invested $2.4 million in G4S, a UK-based company that operates private prisons for juveniles. G4S has had its own scandals over the deaths and abuse of children, reported the BBC and The Guardian.

The defense contractor DynCorp received $2.5 million from the Gates Foundation, even though DynCorp has a long history of scandals.

In 2010, DynCorp employees hired Afghan boys to dress up like girls and dance, and possibly provide sexual services, noted The Guardian.

In 1999, DynCorp was involved in a sex slavery scandal in Bosnia where DynCorp employees were accused of raping and buying girls as young as 12, noted The Huffington Post.

Sources: Mother Jones, BBC, The Guardian, The Huffington Post