Death Squad (I) (Indonesia)

Country: Indonesia
Details of Formation: The PGM was a special extrajudicial taskforce established in August 1982 to combat a crime wave (date recorded as start date is President Suharto's National Day speech where he announced that the crime rate will be lowered). The operation was called “Operasi Clurit” (Operation Sickle) and was also known as “Petrus” (mysterious killings). The Indonesian Military and the National Police were most responsible for carrying out the killings but they were ordered by then President Suharto.
Details of Termination: The operation lasted from 1982 to 1985. No more evidence after this time period.
Purpose: The government used the group to support the police force to combat suspected criminals as part of its anti-crime strategy. The systematic executions perpetrated by the group were intended to deter potential thugs.
Organisation: The group was commanded by the Defence and Security Ministry, and had links to/partly consisted of members of the military, the police and the special forces. The military and the police with its territorial commands were in charge (including subdistrict military commands, district military commands, Regional military commands).
Weapons and Training: Victims were killed with the same weapons as standard army and police handguns, suggesting that they were provided to the PGM by the state.
Size: --
Reason for Membership: --
Treatment of Civilians: The group was responsible for severe human rights violations. Estimates of people systematically killed by the group based on suspected criminal activity range from 2000 to 4000. Identities were not double-checked, people were killed based on arbitrary characteristics such as tattoos, according to a report, and payment was given per dead body. Abductions and torture were also perpetrated by the group in connection to the extra-judicial executions. The killings were sanctioned by the government, specifically the Defense and Security Ministry. Victims were shot and their bodies sometimes left in public places as a signal. According to government officials, the systematic execution of criminals increased security for civilians.
Other Information: It is reported that the killings perpetrated by the group reached their height in April to August 1983. Perpetrators left money on the victims’ bodies to pay for funeral costs.
References: Information was taken from news sources listed in the PGMD.