November 27, 2021

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East Timor Massacre Remembered: U.S.-Armed Indonesian Troops Killed 270 Timorese 30 Years Ago Today

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Today marks the 30th anniversary of the Santa Cruz massacre in East Timor, when Indonesian troops armed with U.S. M16s fired on a peaceful memorial procession in the Santa Cruz cemetery in Dili, killing more than 270 East Timorese. Indonesia had invaded East Timor in 1975 and maintained a brutal occupation until 1999, when East Timorese voted overwhelmingly for independence in a United Nations referendum. The massacre on November 12, 1991, sparked widespread outrage against the Indonesian government led by dictator General Suharto, a staunch U.S. ally, and marked a turning point in international public opinion. We play an excerpt of “Massacre: The Story of East Timor,” a 1992 documentary produced by Amy Goodman and Allan Nairn, who witnessed and survived the killings after being severely beaten by Indonesian troops.

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