The Daimler Corporation is known throughout the world for the production of Mercedes vehicles. The Mercedes Car Group sold almost 1,3 million vehicles in 2007, from »Smart« to luxury limousines of the C, E and S class to the »Maybach« as well as more than 467 000 trucks and 328 000 vans and buses. The Daimler Corporation is one of the world's leading car groups.
However, few customers know that Daimler not only produces civil noble auto-mobiles but also military vehicles, which were supplied as jeeps, unimogs or army transporters in the past years to areas of crisis and war. Often exported civilly as so-called »dual-use« vehicles and implemented militarily, they serve the military for the deployment of troops and material to the front, for example, or for the transport of prisoners. Among the receiving countries of thousands of Mercedes military vehicles were states like Sudan, Iran and Iraq in which human rights were massively violated.
The police in Rio de Janeiro shot through the slits of their Mercedes transporter at the inhabitants of the Favelas while hunting supposed drug dealers. Security agents in Georgia have mounted modern multiple rocket launchers since 2007 on heavy cross-country trucks of the series Actros 3341 of Mercedes. Years ago, the Critical Daimler Shareholders placed charges against the corporation because of suspected illegal supplying of Mercedes Unimogs to Sudan, a country torn by civil war. The military vehicles were equipped with a sandy camouflage colour, reinforced driving cabins, round rotating skylights and two rifle mountings. There was no trial, because the suiting weapons were not supplied by Daimler. The DaimlerChrysler Corporation participates directly in the production of weapons, aside from producing and exporting dual-use and military vehicles.
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Article by Jürgen Grässlin
Translation by Virginia Edwards-Menz,
Armaments-Informations-Office (RüstungsInformationsBüro RIB e.V.)