Robert Schware, coordinator of the Committee of Concerned Citizens on Mercenary Activities in Colorado, made this statement to the United Nations Special Committee against Apartheid on February 11, 1980. Extensive mercenary activities are taking place in Colorado, including by Soldier of Fortune magazine, Phoenix Associates, and Omega Company. The Colorado Committee believes that mercenary activities are a threat to the sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of foreign states and also put future international race relations and Afro-American relations in jeopardy. The Committee, which was organized in May 1979, has had support from members of the Denver City Council, Colorado State Legislature, Colorado members of Congress, and representatives of the Catholic Archdiocese of Denver, the Boulder and Pikes Peak Commission of Justice and Peace, NAACP, U.S. Peace Council, American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), International Committee against Racism, and International Commission of Inquiry into the Crimes of Racism and Apartheid in Southern Africa. The Committee circulated a petition which: (1) appealed to humanitarian groups to oppose mercenaries, (2) requested the Colorado Attorney General to determine whether Soldier of Fortune and its associates are aiding and abetting illegal activities, and (3) called upon the U.S. government to enforce U.S. laws concerning recruitment of mercenaries. The petition was presented to the U.N. Special Committee, U.S. Attorney General, and Governor of Colorado. Congresswoman Patricia Schroeder wrote to the U.S. Department of Justice asking if it had investigated Soldier of Fortune and its associates; she has not received a satisfactory response. Congressman Lee Hamilton said that recruitment of mercenaries in the U.S. to fight in Africa “is inconsistent with American foreign policy." The presence of U.S. mercenaries in southern Africa is an officially unacknowledged part of U.S. foreign policy. The deaths of several mercenaries recruited from advertisements placed or answered in Soldier of Fortune, such as Michael Eclinis, former body guard to Anastasio Somoza and Associate Editor of Soldier of Fortune, have called attention to the fact that U.S. nationals are serving as hired killers throughout the world. International news media have carried stories of these men serving in the Rhodesian Light Infantry, Special Air Services, Rhodesian African Rifles, Rhodesian Police, and the Selous Scouts. The Department of Justice has failed to indict or prosecute any U.S. mercenaries who have been identified. The Lancaster House agreement called upon the United Kingdom to "ensure that no South African or other external forces, regular or mercenary, will remain in or enter Southern Rhodesia." Recent issues of Soldier of Fortune have carried articles about Namibia, assessing South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO) "logistics" and the need for "private protection forces" for white farmers. The Colorado Committee, South African Military Refugee Aid Fund (SAMRAF), and Southern Africa Anti-Mercenary Coalition (SAAMCO) have encouraged members of the Colorado State Legislature, black trade union leaders, and other public officials to petition Congress to investigate Soldier of Fortune and its associates.
Used by permission of Robert Schware, a former member of the Committee of Concerned Citizens on Mercenary Activities.
Collection: Private collection of Malik Stan Reaves