A disreputable parade of corporate ghouls including scandal-hit private security giant G4S and blood-drenched mining firm Lonmin were unveiled today as this year's candidates for the Public Eye people's awards 2013.
Organisers Greenpeace Switzerland and the Berne Declaration invited people across the world to begin voting in the contest to decide the firm guilty of "the worst cases of corporate rights abuses and environmental misdeeds."
NGOs across the globe put forward names for this year's award, which looks set to be a tricky contest between the bad, the worse and the ugly.
Trading firm Goldman Sachs makes the seven-strong shortlist for being a "vampire of finance capital" profiting from the misery of others.
So too does oil company Shell, shortlisted for its breakneck rush to be the first to exploit resources beneath the fragile Arctic wilderness.
Coal India, which has a deadly safety record, bribe-happy engineering corporate Alstom and Swiss energy firm Repower make up the rest.
G4S was nominated as worst corporation of 2012 by British NGO War on Want, which urged people to back its choice as voting opened today.
Among other charges the security firm stands accused of supplying security equipment and services for use at Israeli checkpoints in illegally occupied Palestine, and helping to run Israel's prison system.
War on Want also cited its record running Britain's immigrant detention centres and carrying out forcible deportations, including one in 2010 in which Angolan Jimmy Mubenga died.
The charity's campaigner Rafeef Ziadah said G4S - the world's largest private military and security company - is a "key player in the dangerous trend towards privatisation of war and outsourcing of state functions to corporations.
"It is time to intensify pressure on G4S by voting for the multinational as the worst corporation of 2012."
Last year's Public Eye awards were won jointly.
Barclays bank was chosen for crimes including lobbying against regulation of food price rises hitting the world's poorest, while mining giant Vale was duly recognised for repeated human rights abuses during its 70-year history.
n Voting is open until 12 noon on January 23 via the Public Eye Awards website at www.publiceye.ch
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