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Diplomatic Tactical Services

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Diplomatic Tactical Services Inc. (DTS) is a Florida-based firm specializing in corporate espionage, security and intelligence gathering. Services offered include expert testimony, "labor action security," corporate investigations, criminal history searches, executive protection and robbery suppression. [1]

The firm was incorporated in Florida in April 2005, [2] and was initially called "Diplomatic Protective Services Corporation." It changed its name to Diplomatic Tactical Services in March 2006. [3]

Controversies

Spying on farmworker supporters

The Florida-based farmworker advocacy group Coalition of Immokalee Workers and an allied group, the Student/Farmworker Alliance, have led successful campaigns to have Taco Bell and McDonald's pay a penny more per pound for their tomatoes, money which goes to supplement tomato pickers' meager salaries. When the advocacy groups started pressuring Burger King to agree to a similar deal, the company hired DTS to spy on them. [4]

In March 2008, "a woman named Cara Schaffer contacted the Student/Farmworker Alliance, saying she was a student at Broward Community College. Her eagerness aroused suspicions, but she was allowed to join two of the group’s planning sessions. Internet searches by the alliance revealed that she was not a college student," but the owner of DTS, wrote Eric Schlosser. [5]

"In an interview, a Burger King executive told me that the company had worked with Diplomatic Tactical Services for years on 'security-related matters' and had used it to obtain information about the Student/Farmworker Alliance’s plans -- in order to prevent acts of violence. 'It is both the corporation’s right and duty,' a company spokesman later wrote in an e-mail message to me, 'to protect its employees and assets from potential harm.' ... John Chidsey, the chief executive of Burger King, knew about the use of Diplomatic Tactical Services." [5]

Schlosser added, "But the Student/Farmworker Alliance and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers are not dangerous, extremist groups. Both are pacifist, mainstream nonprofits inspired by the work of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The coalition is supported by the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Foundation, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and Pax Christi, the Catholic peace movement." [5]

Guillermo Zarabozo

Former DTS security guard and armed guard Guillermo Zarabozo has been charged with murdering four people in September 2007. Along with Kirby Logan Archer, Zarabozo stands accused of "murder, kidnapping and seizing control of a ship by force," in an incident where the 47-foot boat "Joe Cool" was taken off course and its captain and three other crew members were killed. Zarabozo and Archer had paid $4,000 in cash, to charter the boat from Miami Beach, Florida, to Bimini in the Bahamas. [6]

According to a fellow inmate at Miami's Federal Detention Center, Zarabozo admitted to the murders. According to the inmate's account of Zarabozo's confession, Archer shot the boat crew members "because they refused to take the men to Cuba instead of the originally agreed-upon destination of Bimini, Bahamas. ... Zarabozo also supposedly said he threw the bodies into the ocean and cleaned up the boat." [6]

Anti-labor services

The DTS website states: [7]

Handling investigations and security union activities is always challenging and requires a firm with specific experience in handling N.L.R.B. (National Labor Relations Board) issues. Diplomatic Tactical Services Inc. has experience handling all types of investigative activity during strikes, organizational attempts, secondary pickets, negotiations and de-certification drives.
Diplomatic Tactical Services Inc. employs fully licensed private investigators and security experts. Additionally, specific training on handling N.L.R.B. issues is provided to each investigator/security specialist prior to assignment. This training can be customized to client requirements as needed.
Diplomatic Security officers are personally supervised by managers who have firsthand experience dealing with N.L.R.B. issues. Individual reports with documentation will be provided to the client’s designated representatives.

Specific labor-related services offered by DTS include: [7]

  • Covert surveillance: "Surveillance of areas identified as probable locations of illegal activity is a necessary part of dealing with a work stoppage. Knowing what to document and what to avoid is the key to not crossing into an illegal surveillance of union activity."
  • Undercover operations: "Placing of an operative in the ranks is dangerous if not handled with the greatest care. We have properly trained operatives that can document illegal activity without creating liability."
  • Executive protection: "It is a sad truth that management frequently feels the need for this service during labor disputes. Only with true professionals can this be handled without complicating negotiations."
  • Overt security / surveillance: "Frequently, a little prevention can avoid problems later with the board. Our operatives have the training to prevent conflict and avoid activity that may damage the client’s image as well as legal position."

Personnel

According to Florida state business records, DTS is owned by Cara N. Schaffer. [8]

Schaffer was preceded by Robert N. Groom, who resigned as the firm's CEO in July 2006. [9]

Contact information

Diplomatic Tactical Services
9940 SW 14th St.
Pembroke Pines, FL 33025

Phone: (954) 922-6965
Fax: (954) 437-9530
Website: diplomatictacticalservices.com

SourceWatch resources

External links

References

  1. "Homepage (PDF)," Diplomatic Tactical Services website, accessed April 9, 2008.
  2. "Domestic Profit," Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations records, filed April 19, 2005, accessed April 9, 2008.
  3. "Name Change," Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations records, filed April 13, 2006, accessed April 9, 2008.
  4. Amy Bennett Williams, "Immokalee workers raise stakes; May boycott fast-food chain in try to raise tomato prices" Ft. Myers News-Press (Florida), March 5, 2008.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Eric Schlosser, "Burger With a Side of Spies," New York Times, May 7, 2008.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Curt Andersen, "Inmate: Suspect in Boat Deaths Confessed," Associated Press, December 21, 2007.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Labor Relations (PDF)," Diplomatic Tactical Services website, accessed April 9, 2008.
  8. "Diplomatic Tactical Services," Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations records, filed April 19, 2005, accessed April 9, 2008.
  9. "Off/Dir Resignation," Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations records, filed August 2, 2006, accessed April 9, 2008.

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