Rockefeller and the Demise of Ibu Pertiwi
Kerry B. Collison
In 1961, Michael C. Rockefeller disappeared off the southern coast of what was then known as Dutch Western New Guinea. Through a flawed United Nations plebiscite in 1969 Indonesia annexes the territory. Over five decades dissent grows amongst the indigenous West Papuans and an international groundswell building support for the United Nations to hold a further referendum raises alarm in Jakarta, having already lost East Timor to an independence movement.
Fearful that other provinces such as Aceh, the Moluccas and other restive groups would follow the brutal Indonesian military machine swings into action.
With the meteoric rise of the new powerhouses, China and India, Indonesian-occupied West Papua’s wealth of oil, gas and minerals precipitates an international power-play for control over the vast natural resources. The Grassberg mine currently producing 500,000 tonnes of copper ore and 1,000,000 ounces of gold annually could be lost to Jakarta’s elite. Jules Heynemann and his adopted brother Benny Tabuni build the Freedom Movement until it becomes a formidable opponent to the occupying forces. Aided by British and American political interests they pave the way for a final confrontation with Jakarta.