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East Timor

On December 7, 1975 Indonesia invaded East Timor by Suharto's orders. The Indonesian military killed at least 100,000 East Timorese. Some also died in internment camps from starvation, while hiding from the military, or by illness and many were raped. The Indonesian army used napalm and chemical weapons, which poisoned the food and water supply. When the Indonesian military forces finally left East Timor in 1999 they burned about 80 percent of the buildings.

History Channel

The United Nations published a 2500 page report regarding Indonesia's involvement with the East Timor genocide. It holds the Indonesian police and military responsible for at least 70 percent of the deaths and disappearances that occurred from 1975-1999. The East Timorese were tortured, burned alive, executed, decapitated, and genitals were mutilated. Rape and sexual abuse were used as a common weapon against women.


Once Indonesia invaded East Timor, media coverage of the genocide subsided. The Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, both U.S. owned media corporations, both ran many stories on East Timor before the invasion but afterwards there were hold a handful of reports. The major television networks CBS and ABC News each covered the Santa Cruz massacre from 1991 once. Like the Indonesian genocide, the U.S. also played a part in the East Timor genocide. The U.S. has supported Indonesia with financial and military assistance and also helped to keep silence on East Timor.


The United Nations condemned the occupation of East Timor in ten resolutions, but it did not stop Indonesia from committing massacres and atrocities. Ever since the invasion the Indonesian military has made it difficult to report on it. This documentary Cold Blood explores the truth of what happened when Indonesia invaded East Timor. An East Timorese man recalls the military put electrodes on his hands, tongue, and other various parts and gave him electric shocks; he was also cut with blades and burnt with cigarettes. His brother was killed in front of him and his aunts and uncles were raped and killed in his presence. Another man remembers being ordered to dispose of the dead bodies into the sea and even had to throw his own relatives in. Another lady was spat in her face with the gun pointed at her head and how she would feel if her two children disappeared. By 1979 about 150,000-300,000 East Timorese were sent to resettlement camps where many died from malaria, tuberculosis, and starvation.

YouTube - Timeline

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