Retas Sejarah

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Indeks / "Gangs"

Following a wave of violent confrontations and tit-for-tat killings, the leaders of five mass organizations-cum-urban gangs in Greater Jakarta – Pemuda Pancasila (PP), Pemuda Panca Marga (PPM), the Betawi Brotherhood Forum (FBR), the Betawi People’s Forum (Forkabi), and Badan Pembina Provinsi Keluarga Banten (BPPKB) – agreed to a ceasefire in June 2012. The violence to be shut down had erupted in the late winter and early spring of 2012, escalating and taking on ethnic overtones in March 2012 when the leader of another gang John Refra, a.k.a. John Kei, was arrested on murder charges. Fronting as a debt-collecting business, Kei’s Key Youth Force (Amkei) was centered on Moluccan migrants in Jakarta and had been clashing with rival gangs from Flores. The June gang truce, facilitated by police negotiations and mediation, for a moment seemed to turn the violence off. The gang truce paralleled a ceasefire announced by two large gangs in El Salvador – an ocean away.

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Since the economic crisis started in 1997, an increasing number of people in Indonesia are thrown into the harsh reality of joblessness. The younger generation is most severely affected by the lack of employment or pertinent possibilities of income generation, and identity creation. More than 40 million people are without a reliable income from employment in Indonesia today, most of them young and male, having nothing to sell but their own muscles. Rates of criminality have increased, not least as a consequence of weakened state and police power since the fall of Soeharto’s authoritarian regime in 1998.

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