Retas Sejarah

Items
Indeks / "Mysterious Killings"

The Indonesian Army and its precursor, the Dutch Colonial Army, had a long history of cooperation with shadowy criminal underworld gangs. The New Order regime, its intelligence organizations, the Army, political parties, and business owners all patronized petty criminals who functioned as their informants, protectors and enforcers, when needed. Soeharto’s master political strategist, Ali Moertopo, and his autonomous Opsus intelligence unit maintained an extensive network of informers and thugs. Moertopo’s bully boys provoked the January 1974 Malari riots to discredit rival Kopkamtib Commander Soemitro and engaged in arm twisting tactics to ensure Golkar victories in the 1971, 1977 and 1982 general elections. They intimidated opposition parties and frightened the public with threats of anarchy – a repeat of the 1965-1966 terror – if voters failed to fall in line behind Golkar.

Read More

Indonesia is to revisit another violent chapter of the Soeharto regime with an investigation into a campaign of extra-judicial killings by the Indonesian military between 1983 and 1985. As many as 8,000 people may have been killed during the operation, which President Soeharto sanctioned as necessary to purge the nation of criminal elements.

Presenter: Katie Hamann (Radio Australia)

Read More

One of the most remarkable episodes in the history of the New Order was the wave of state-sponsored executions of suspected criminals which took place between 1983 and 1985. In this two year period, over five thousand people, none of whom had been tried, lost their lives at the hands of highly-trained hit squads known popularly as Petrus, an acronym of penembak misterius or ‘mysterious gunmen’.

Much has been written about the repression of political dissidents in Indonesia and the military operations against armed opponents of the Indonesian state in such places as Irian Jaya and East Timor. What was unusual about the Petrus campaign is that violence was used not to silence criticism or to defend the Indonesian state from perceived threats to its integrity, but as an instrument of social policy. It was a carefully planned and orchestrated military- intelligence operation intended, in the words of President Suharto, as “shock therapy” to curb radically the incidence of violent crime.

Read More

Sumardi, 44, a Karawang resident says the days when Karawang villagers repeatedly found bodies from the penembakan misterius (mysterious shootings), or Petrus, in the area of Citarum River, Karawang, West Java, remain fresh in his memory.

“I remember it was 1984, and I was 16. We found bodies floating in Citarum River maybe once every two days, some of them had tattoos, some had no tattoos at all,” he said.

Read More

The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) announced on Tuesday that the summary execution-style killings between 1982 and 1985, known locally as penembakan misterius (mysterious shootings), or Petrus, were a gross violation of human rights as they involved systematic extra-judicial killing, torture and abduction.

Read More

In keeping with the overt symbolism that marked political monuments in Suharto’s New Order, the Department of the Interior on Jakarta’s main square was ornamented with a giant kentongan. A kentongan is an instrument made from a hollowed branch that is struck to give off a sound. Kentongan have been used by neighborhood watches (rondo) in Java’s towns and villages for centuries as devices to keep thieves away, to call forth populations for territorial defense, and to keep people alert and ready toward off threats to community well-being. Hung by a mosque, in a guard house, or in front of the village head’s house, it is the quintessential technology for community policing. The kentongan at the Department of the Interior, by virtue of its size and location, would seem to represent a departure from the strictly local connotations of village kentongan. This grand kentongan was undoubtedly meant to provide the many thousands of kentongan in the nation’s villages and towns with a new center with which to resonate. Through a sort of crude symbolism, the installation of this kentongan signified the subordination of local security apparatuses to the overarching security framework provided by the state.

Read More