Unocal, a global energy company based in California, entered into a joint venture with the military government of Burma (Myanmar) to build a natural gas pipleline across that country's southern panhandle. The Burmese government agreed to provide security for the project. Human rights organizations charged that the government used brute force to clear the pipeline area, relocating villages and terrorizing the civilian population, and forcibly conscripted local people to clear land and build roads for the project. Although Unocal did not engage in these acts directly, the company's critics felt that as the government's business partner, it shared moral responsibility. For its part, Unocal denied that it had done anything wrong and, in fact, argued that the company's presence had benefited Burma and its citizens.