A US company operating out of Ecuador says it has signed up about 1,000 Colombian
police and military staff to work as hired guns in Iraq, for less than half of
their US counterparts' salaries.
Colombians "have been fighting terrorists for the past 41 years and are
experts in their respective areas" such as explosives and guerrilla warfare,
Epi Security and Investigation says on its website, iraqijobcenter.com.
The company based in the Ecuadoran city of Manta is run by American Jeffrey
Shippy, who is in Baghdad, according to his Ecuadoran wife.
He works out of his home not far from the Manta air base Washington rented
from the Ecuadoran Air Force to relocate some of the troops and planes it used
to have in Panama.
The Colombian daily El Tiempo reported Friday that the Colombians would be
paid $US2,500 to $US5,000 a month, roughly half what their US and British counterparts