A death squad
is an armed group whose primary activity is carrying out extrajudicial killings
or forced disappearances
as part of political repression
, ethnic cleansing
, or revolutionary terror
. Except in rare cases where they are formed by an insurgency
, domestic or foreign governments actively participate in, support, or ignore the death squad's activities. Death squads are distinct from assassination
due to their permanent organization and the larger number of victims (typically thousands or more) who may not be prominent individuals. Other violence, such as rape
, or bombings
may be carried out alongside murders.
They may comprise a secret police
force, paramilitary militia
groups, government soldiers, policemen, or combinations thereof. They may also be organized as vigilantes
. When death squads are not controlled by the state, they may consist of insurgent forces or organized crime
, such as the ones used by cartels
German-employed death squad executes Soviet civilians, 1941
Although the term "death squad" did not rise to notoriety until the activities of such groups became widely known in Central
and South America
during the 1970s and 80s, death squads have been employed under different guises throughout history. The term was first used by the fascist Iron Guard
. It officially installed Iron guard death squads in 1936 in order to kill political enemies.
It was also used during the Battle of Algiers
by Paul Aussaresses
Cold War usage
In Latin America
, death squads first appeared in Brazil
where a group called Esquadrão da Morte
(literally "Death Squad") emerged in the 1960s; they subsequently spread to Argentina
in the 1970s, and they were later used in Central America during the 1980s. Argentina used extrajudicial killings as a way of crushing the liberal and communist opposition to the military junta
during the 'Dirty War
' of the 1970s. For example, Alianza Anticomunista Argentina
was a far-right death squad mainly active during the "Dirty War". The Chilean military regime of 1973–1990 also committed such killings. See Operation Condor
During the Salvadoran civil war
, death squads achieved notoriety on March 24, 1980, when a sniper
assassinated Archbishop Óscar Romero
as he said Mass
inside a convent chapel. In December 1980, three American nuns, Ita Ford
, Dorothy Kazel
, and Maura Clarke
, and a lay worker, Jean Donovan
, were gang raped
and murdered by a military unit later found to have been acting on specific orders. Death squads were instrumental in killing hundreds of real and suspected Communists. Priests who were spreading liberation theology
, such as Father Rutilio Grande
, were often targeted as well. The murderers were found to have been soldiers of the Salvadoran military, which was receiving U.S. funding and military advisors
during the Carter
administration. These events prompted outrage in the U.S. and led to a temporary cutoff in military aid at the end of his presidency.
Death Squad activity stretched well into the Reagan years (1981–1989) as well.
Honduras also had death squads active through the 1980s, the most notorious of which was the army unit Battalion 316
. Hundreds of people, teachers, politicians, and union leaders were assassinated by government-backed forces. Battalion 316 received substantial training from the United States Central Intelligence Agency
As of 2010, death squads have continued to be active in several locations, including Chechnya
, Democratic Republic of the Congo
, Central African Republic
, Saudi Arabia
, South Sudan
Death squads are reportedly active in this country.
This has been condemned by the US
but appears to be difficult to stop. Moreover, there is no proof as to whom is behind the killings.
In an interview with the Pan-African magazine "Jeune Afrique", Laurent Gbagbo
accused one of the opposition leaders, Alassane Ouattara
(ADO), to be the main organizer of the media frenzy around his wife's involvement in the killing squads. He also successfully sued and won, in French courts, in cases against the French newspapers that made the accusations.
In December 2014, Kenyan Anti-Terrorism Police Unit officers confessed to Al-Jazeera that they were responsible for almost 500 of the extrajudicial killings
. The murders reportedly totalled several hundred homicides every year. They included the assassination of Abubaker Shariff Ahmed "Makaburi", an Al-Shabaab associate from Kenya, who was among 21 Muslim radicals allegedly murdered by the Kenyan police since 2012. According to the agents, they resorted to killing after the Kenyan police could not successfully prosecute terror suspects. In doing so, the officers indicated that they were acting on the direct orders of Kenya's National Security Council, which consisted of the Kenyan President, Deputy President, Chief of the Defence Forces, Inspector General of Police, National Security Intelligence Service Director, Cabinet Secretary of Interior, and Principal Secretary of Interior. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta
and the National Security Council of Kenya members denied operating an extrajudicial assassination program. Additionally, the officers suggested that Western security agencies provided intelligence for the program, including the whereabouts and activities of government targets. They asserted that Britain supplied further logistics in the form of equipment and training. One Kenyan officer within the council's General Service Unit also indicated that Israeli instructors taught them how to kill. The head of the International Bar Association
, Mark Ellis, cautioned that any such involvement by foreign nations would constitute a breach of international law. The United Kingdom and Israel denied participation in the Kenyan National Security Council's reported death squads, with the UK Foreign Office indicating that it had approached the Kenyan authorities over the charges.
From 1971 to 1979, Ugandan dictator Idi Amin
set up death squads to murder enemies of the state.
's Dominican government employed a death squad, known as la 42
and led by Miguel Angel Paulino, that tooled around in a stylish red Packard called the Carro de la Muerte (Death Car).
During the 12-year regime of Joaquín Balaguer
, the Frente Democrático Anticomunista y Antiterrorista
, most known as la Banda Colorá
, continued the practices of la 42
Cristero rebels publicly hanged on telegraph poles in Jalisco, Mexico
. The bodies often remained on the poles until the pueblo
or town renounced public religious practice.
In a way similar to the American Indian Wars
, the early Mexican nation struggled against Apache raids. Between 1835 and 1837, only 15 years after the Mexican independence and at the midst of the Texan Revolution, the local governments of the Mexican states of Sonora
(that border with the U.S. states of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona ) put a bounty on the Apache
bands that were in the area. In the case of Chihuahua the bounty attracted "bounty hunters" from the United States, that were often Anglo Americans, runaway slaves and even from other Indian tribes, it was paid based on Apache scalps, 100 pesos per warrior, 50 pesos per woman, and 25 pesos per child.
As historian Donald E. Worcester
wrote: "The new policy attracted a diverse group of men, including Anglos, runaway slaves led by Seminole John Horse
, and Indians — Kirker
used Delawares and Shawnees; others, such as Terrazas, used Tarahumaras
; and Seminole Chief Coacoochee
led a band of his own people who had fled from Indian Territory."
After the Mexican Revolution
During the 1920s and 1930s, the PRI's founder, President Plutarco Elías Calles
, used death squads against Mexico's Roman Catholic
majority. Calles explained his reasons in a private telegram to the Mexican Ambassador to the French Third Republic
, Alberto J. Pani
. "...Catholic Church in Mexico is a political movement, and must be eliminated ... free of religious hypnotism which fools the people... within one year without the sacraments, the people will forget the faith..."
In response, an armed revolt against the Mexican State, the Cristero War
, began in 1927. Composed largely of peasant volunteers and commanded by retired General Enrique Gorostieta Velarde
, the Cristeros were also responsible for atrocities. Among them were the assassination of former Mexican President Álvaro Obregón
, train robberies, and violent attacks against rural teachers. The uprising largely ended after the Holy See
and the Mexican State negotiated a compromise agreement. Refusing to lay down his arms despite offers of amnesty
, General Gorostieta was killed in action
by the Mexican Army in Jalisco
on 2 June 1929. Following the cessation of hostilities, more than 5,000 Cristeros were summarily executed by Mexican security forces. The events of the Cristero War are depicted in the 2012 film For Greater Glory
During the Cold War
During the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, death squads continued to be used against anti-PRI activists, both Marxists and social conservatives. One example of this is the 1968 Tlatelolco massacre
, in which an anti-regime protest rally was attacked by security forces in Mexico City
. After this event, paramilitary groups like "Los Halcones" (The hawks) and the "Brigada blanca" (White brigade) were used to attack, hunt and exterminate political dissidents.
Allegations have been made by both journalists and American law enforcement of collusion between senior PRI statesmen and the Mexican drug cartels
. It has even been alleged that, under PRI rule, no drug traffickers were ever successful without the permission of the Mexican State. If the same drug trafficker fell from favor, however, Mexican law enforcement would be ordered to move against their operation, as happened to Pablo Acosta Villarreal
Regime change and "Drug war tactics"
By the early 1990s, the PRI started to lose the grip on its absolute political power, however, its corruption became so pervasive that Juarez Cartel
boss Amado Carrillo Fuentes
was even able to purchase a window in Mexico's air defense system. During this period, his airplanes were permitted to smuggle narcotics into the United States without the interference of the Mexican Air Force
. As a result, Carillo Fuentes became known as "The Lord of the Skies." During the 1990's drug cartels were on the rise in Mexico and groups like the Gulf Cartel
would form death squads like Los Zetas
to suppress, control, and uproot rival cartel factions.
It is believed by American and Mexican investigators that the PRI would also use the cartels to commit assassinations which were too sensitive to be traced back to the ruling party. One murder believed to be an example of this is the 1993 murder of Cardinal Juan Jesús Posadas Ocampo
In 2000, however, during an internal power struggle between former President Salinas and President Zedillo, the PRI was peacefully voted out from power, until 2013 when they partially regained their influence and power, only to lose again in 2018. It is also alleged that, during the time they first lost the presidency, some of the most powerful PRI members were supporting and protecting drug cartels that they used as death squads against their criminal and political rivals, being this one of the real reasons the PAN party government accepted to start the Mexican drug war against the Cartels.
However, it is also alleged that during this period of time the turmoil of war has been used by the parties in power to exterminate even more political dissidents, activists and their own rivals. An example of this is the case of the 2014 forced disappearance and assassination of 43 activist rural students from the Ayotzinapa
Teachers' College, in the hands of police officers colluded with the "Guerreros Unidos" drug cartel. six years later in 2020, it was confirmed that members from the Mexican Army base in town had worked with police and gang members to kidnap the students.
During the California Gold Rush
, the state government between 1850 and 1859 financed and organized militia units to hunt down and kill Native Americans
in the state. Between 1850 and 1852 the state appropriated almost one million dollars for the activities of these militias, and between 1854 and 1859 the state appropriated another $500,000, almost half of which was reimbursed by the federal government.
By one estimate, at least 4,500 Californian Indians were killed between 1849 and 1870.
Contemporary historian Benjamin Madley
has documented the numbers of Californian Indians killed between 1846 and 1873; he estimates that during this period at least 9,492 Californian Indians were killed by non-Indians. Most of the deaths took place in what he defined as more than 370 massacres
(defined as the "intentional killing of five or more disarmed combatants or largely unarmed noncombatants, including women, children, and prisoners, whether in the context of a battle or otherwise").
Some scholars contend that the state financing of these militias, as well as the US government's role in other massacres in California, such as the Bloody Island
and Yontoket Massacres
, in which up to 400 or more natives were killed in each massacre, constitutes acts of genocide against the native people of California.
Quantrill's 1863 raid burned the town of Lawrence
and killed 164 defenders.
, embittered Confederate veterans supported the Ku Klux Klan
and similar vigilante
organizations throughout the American South
. The Klan and its counterparts terrorized and lynched
African-Americans, northern carpetbaggers
, and Southern "scalawags
". This was often done with the unofficial support of the Democratic Party leadership. Historian Bruce B. Campbell has called the KKK, "one of the first proto-death squads". Campbell alleges that the difference between it and modern-day death-squads is the fact that the Ku Klux Klan was composed of members of a defeated regime rather than members of the ruling government. "Otherwise, in its murderous intent, its links to private elite interests, and its covert nature, it very closely resembles modern-day death squads."
In June 2020, Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff Austreberto “Art” Gonzalez filed a claim against the county, claiming that approximately twenty percent of the deputies operating in the county's Compton Station belonged to a secret death squad. Gonzales alleges that the group, named "The Executioners", carried out multiple extrajudicial killings over the years and that members followed initiation rituals, including being tattooed with skulls and nazi imagery.
A billboard serving as a reminder of one of many massacres
that occurred during the civil war
During the Salvadoran civil war
, death squads (known in Spanish by the name of Escuadrón de la Muerte, "Squadron of Death") achieved notoriety when a sniper
assassinated Archbishop Óscar Romero
while he was performing Mass
in March 1980. In December 1980, three American nuns and a lay worker
and murdered by a military unit later found to have been acting on specific orders. Death squads were instrumental in killing thousands of peasants and activists. Funding for the squads came primarily from right-wing Salvadoran businessmen and landowners.
Because the death squads involved were found to have been soldiers of the Salvadoran military security forces, which were receiving U.S. arms, funding, training and advice during the Carter
and George H. W. Bush
administrations, these events prompted some outrage in the U.S. Human rights activists criticized U.S. administrations for denying Salvadoran government links to the death squads. Veteran Human Rights Watch researcher Cynthia J. Arnson writes that "particularly during the years 1980–1983 when the killing was at its height (numbers of killings could reach as far as 35,000), assigning responsibility for the violence and human rights abuses was a product of the intense ideological polarization in the United States. The Reagan administration downplayed the scale of abuse as well as the involvement of state actors. Because of the level of denial, as well as the extent of U.S. involvement with the Salvadoran military and security forces, the U.S. role in El Salvador- what was known about death squads, when it was known, and what actions the United States did or did not take to curb their abuses- became an important part of El Salvador's death squad story."
Some death squads, such as Sombra Negra
, are still operating in El Salvador.
Honduras had death squads active through the 1980s, the most notorious of which was Battalion 3–16
. Hundreds of people, teachers, politicians, and union bosses were assassinated by government-backed forces. Battalion 316 received substantial support and training from the United States Central Intelligence Agency
At least 19 members were School of the Americas
Seven members, including Billy Joya
, later played important roles in the administration of President Manuel Zelaya
as of mid-2006.
Following the 2009 coup d'état
, former Battalion 3–16 member Nelson Willy Mejía Mejía
became Director-General of Immigration
and Billy Joya was de facto
President Roberto Micheletti
's security advisor.
Another former Battalion 3–16 member, Napoleón Nassar Herrera
was high Commissioner of Police for the north-west region under Zelaya and under Micheletti, and also became a Secretary of Security spokesperson "for dialogue" under Micheletti.
Zelaya claimed that Joya had reactivated the death squad, with dozens of government opponents having been murdered since the ascent of the Michiletti and Lobo governments.
Throughout the Guatemalan Civil War
, both military and "civilian" governments utilized death squads as a counterinsurgency strategy. The use of "death squads" as a government tactic became particularly widespread after 1966. Throughout 1966 and the first three months of 1967, within the framework of what military commentators referred to as "el-contra terror", government forces killed an estimated 8,000 civilians accused of "subversive" activity.
This marked a turning point in the history of the Guatemalan security apparatus, and brought about a new era in which mass murder of both real and suspected subversives by government "death squads" became a common occurrence in the country. A noted Guatemalan sociologist estimated the number of government killings between 1966 and 1974 at approximately 5,250 a year (for a total death toll of approximately 42,000 during the presidencies of Julio César Méndez Montenegro
and Carlos Arana Osorio
Killings by both official and unofficial security forces would climax in the late 1970s and early 1980s under the presidencies of Fernando Romeo Lucas García
and Efraín Ríos Montt
, with over 18,000 documented killings in 1982 alone.
Greg Grandin claims that "Washington, of course, publicly denied its support for paramilitarism, but the practice of political disappearances took a great leap forward in Guatemala in 1966 with the birth of a death squad created, and directly supervised, by U.S. security advisors."
An upsurge in rebel activity in Guatemala convinced the US to provide increased counterinsurgency assistance to Guatemala's security apparatus in the mid to late 1960s. Documents released in 1999 details how United States military and police advisers had encouraged and assisted Guatemalan military officials in the use of repressive techniques, including helping establish a "safe house" from within the presidential palace as a location to coordinate counter insurgency activities.
In 1981, it was reported by Amnesty International that this same "safe house" was in use by Guatemalan security officials to coordinate counterinsurgency activities involving the use of the "death squads."
According to a victim's brother, Mirtala Linares "He wouldn't tell us anything; he claimed they hadn't captured [Sergio], that he knew nothing of his whereabouts – and that maybe my brother had gone as an illegal alien to the United States! That was how he answered us."
Throughout the Ortega government, starting in 2006, but escalating with the 2018–2020 Nicaraguan protests
, Sandinista government has employed death squads also known as "Turbas
" or militia groups armed and aided by the National Police to attack pro-democracy protesters. The government's crackdown of lethal force was condemned by the international community, the Organization of American States, Human Rights Watch, and the local and international Catholic Church.
Amnesty International reports that "the security forces in Argentina first started using "death squads" in late 1973. One example was Alianza Anticomunista Argentina
, a far-right death squad mainly active during the "Dirty War". By the time military rule ended in 1983 some 1,500 people had been killed directly by "death squads", and over 9,000 named people and many more undocumented victims had been "disappeared"—kidnapped and murdered secretly—according to the officially appointed National Commission on Disappeared People (CONADEP).
The Esquadrão da Morte
("Death Squad" in Portuguese) was a paramilitary organization that emerged in the late 1960s in the context of the Brazilian Military Dictatorship
. It was the first group to have received the name "Death Squad" in Latin America, but its actions resembled traditional vigilantism as most executions were not exclusively political-related. The greater share of the political executions during the 21 years of Military Dictatorship (1964–1985) were done by the Brazilian Armed Forces
itself. The purpose of the original "Death Squad" was, with the consent of the military government, to persecute, torture and kill suspected criminals (marginais
) regarded as dangerous to society. It began in the former State of Guanabara
led by Detective Mariel Mariscot, one of the "Twelve Golden Men of Rio de Janeiro's Police", and from there it spread throughout Brazil in the 1970s. In general, its members were politicians, members of the judiciary, and police officials. As a rule, these groups were financed by members of the business community.
In the 1970s and 1980s, several other organizations were modeled after the 1960s Esquadrão da Morte.
The most famous such organization is Scuderie Detetive Le Cocq
(English: Shield of Detective Le Cocq
), named after deceased Detective Milton Le Cocq. The group was particularly active in the Brazilian Southeastern States of Guanabara and Rio de Janeiro
, and remains active in the state of Espírito Santo
. In the State of São Paulo
, Death Squads and individual gunmen called "justiceiros" were pervasive and executions almost were exclusively the work of off-duty policemen. In 1983, a police officer nicknamed "Cabo Bruno" was convicted for murdering more than 50 victims.
The "Death Squads" active under the rule of the military dictatorship continue as a cultural legacy of the Brazilian police. In the 2000s, police officers remain linked with death-squad-type executions. In 2003, roughly 2,000 extrajudicial murders occurred in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, with Amnesty International claiming the numbers are likely far higher.
Brazilian politician Flávio Bolsonaro
, the son of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro
, was accused of having ties to death squads.
One of the most notorious murder gangs operated by the Chilean Army
was the Caravan of Death
, whose members travelled by helicopter throughout Chile between 30 September and 22 October 1973. During this foray, members of the squad ordered or personally carried out the execution of at least 75 individuals held in Army custody in these garrisons.
According to the NGO Memoria y Justicia
, the squad killed 26 in the South and 71 in the North, making a total of 97 victims. Augusto Pinochet was indicted
in December 2002 in this case, but he died four years later without having been convicted. The trial, however, is on-going as of September 2007, other militaries and a former military chaplain having been indicted in this case. On 28 November 2006, Víctor Montiglio, charged of this case, ordered Pinochet's house arrest
According to the Chilean Government's own Truth and Reconciliation (Rettig) report, 2,279 people were killed in the operations of Pinochet's regime.
In June 1999, judge Juan Guzmán Tapia
ordered the arrest of five retired generals.
The United States
supported death squads in Colombia, El Salvador and Guatemala during the 1980s.
In 1993, Amnesty International
reported that clandestine military units began covertly operating as death squads in 1978. According to the report, throughout the 1980s political killings rose to a peak of 3,500 in 1988, averaging some 1,500 victims per year since then, and "over 1,500 civilians are also believed to have "disappeared" since 1978."
, formed in 1997, was the most prominent paramilitary group.
According to a 2014 report published by Human Rights Watch
(HRW) on Buenaventura
, a port town in Colombia, "entire neighborhoods were dominated by powerful paramilitary successor groups" HRW reports that the groups "restrict residents' movements, recruit their children, extort businesses, and routinely engage in horrific acts of violence against anyone who defies their will." It is reported that scores of people have been "disappeared" from the town over the years. Bodies are dismembered before they are disposed of and residents have reported the existence of casas de pique
, "chop-up houses" where people are slaughtered. Many residents have fled and are considered to have been "forcibly displaced": 22,028 residents fled in 2011, 15,191 in 2012, and 13,468 between January and October 2013.
A report from the country's public prosecutors office at the end of 2009 reported the number of 28,000 disappeared by paramilitary and guerrilla groups. As of 2008 only 300 corpses were identified and 600 in 2009. According to the prosecutor's office, it will take many more years before all the bodies recovered can be identified.
At least 40% of the national legislature are said to have ties to paramilitary groups.
In August 2018, prosecutors in Colombia charged 13 Chiquita
brands with supporting the right wing death squad that killed hundreds in the Urabá Antioquia
region between 1996 and 2004.Salvatore Mancuso
, a jailed paramilitary leader, has accused Del Monte
and Chiquita of funding right wing death squads. Chiquita was fined $25 million after admitting they had paid $1.7 million to paramilitaries over six years; the reason for the payments remains a matter of dispute, with Chiquita claiming the money was routine extortion money paid to paramilitary groups to protect workers. Activists, on the other hand, insist that a portion of the money paid by Chiquita was used to finance political assassinations.
In its 2003 and 2002 world reports, Human Rights Watch
reported the existence of death squads in several Venezuelan
states, involving members of the local police, the DISIP
and the National Guard
. These groups were responsible for the extrajudicial killings of civilians and wanted or alleged criminals, including street criminals, looters and drug users.
In 2019, amid the Crisis in Bolivarian Venezuela
, the government of Nicolás Maduro
was accused by a UN human rights report of using death squads to conduct thousands of extrajudicial executions. The report relayed a multitude of eyewitness accounts, describing the government's Special Action Forces (FAES) frequently arriving at homes in unmarked vehicles, executing male suspects on the spot, then planting drugs or weapons on the corpse to make it appear the victim died resisting arrest. According to the report, the executions were part of a campaign aimed at “neutralizing, repressing and criminalizing political opponents and people critical of the government”.
The Maduro government condemned the report as “openly biased”.
In contemporary times, the Bangladeshi "Rapid Action Battalion" has been criticized by rights groups for its use of extrajudicial killings
In addition, there have been many reports of torture in connection with the battalion's activities.
Several battalion members have been accused of murder and obstruction of justice during the Narayanganj Seven murder
They've been known to kill civilian suspects for the explicit purpose of avoiding trials.
They have also been accused of carrying out a campaign of forced disappearances
The Khmer Rouge
began employing death squads to purge Cambodia of non-communists after taking over the country in 1975. They rounded up their victims, questioned them and then took them out to killing fields.
The secret killings of Assam (1998–2001) was probably the darkest chapter in Assam's political history when relatives, friends, sympathisers of ULFA
insurgents were systematically killed by unknown assailants. These extrajudicial murders happened in Assam between 1998 and 2001. These extrajudicial killings were conducted by the state government using SULFA
members and the security forces in the name of counter-insurgency operations. The victims of these killings were relatives, friends and colleagues of ULFA
militants. The most apparent justification for the whole exercise was that it was a tit-for-tat response to the ULFA-sponsored terrorism, specially the killings of their old comrades—the SULFAs.
In 1965–1966, hundreds of thousands of leftists and those believed tied to the Communist Party of Indonesia
(PKI) were massacred by the Indonesian military and right-wing paramilitary death squads after a failed coup attempt which was blamed on the Communists. At least 400,000 to 500,000 people, perhaps as many as 3 million, were killed over a period of several months, with thousands more being interred in prisons and concentration camps under extremely inhumane conditions. The violence culminated in the fall of President Sukarno
and the commencement of Suharto
's thirty-year authoritarian reign.
There are certain vigilante death squads that are active in the Philippines, especially in Davao City
where local death squads
roam around the city to hunt criminals.
After winning the Presidency in June 2016, Rodrigo Duterte
had urged, "If you know of any addicts, go ahead and kill them yourself as getting their parents to do it would be too painful."
By March 2017, the death toll for the Philippine Drug War
passed 8,000 people.
News reports on the use of death squads in Korea originated around the middle of the 20th century such as the Jeju Massacre
There were also the multiple deaths that made the news in 1980 in Gwangju
During the Cold War
, in the short period of democracy in Thailand (1973–1976), three right-wing paramilitary groups, Nawaphon
, Red Gaurs
, and Village Scouts
were founded and supported by Internal Security Operations Command
and Border Patrol Police
to promote national unity, loyalty to Thai royal family
, and anti-communism
. They were also heavily funded and backed by the United States
government, and were under the patronage of the royal family themselves. Among their ranks were former soldiers, veterans of the Vietnam War
, former mercenaries in Laos, and violent vocational students.
These groups were first employed to counter protests of the pro-democracy and left-wing students movement, attacking them with firearms and grenades. When the ideological conflict escalated, they started assassinating labor and peasants union officials and progressive politicians, the most famous was Dr. Boonsanong Punyodyana
, the general secretary of the Socialist Party of Thailand
. The conflict reached its peak with the Thammasat University massacre
in 1976, which the Royal Thai Armed Forces
and Royal Thai Police
, supported by the three aforementioned paramilitary groups, stormed the university
and shot mostly unarmed student protesters indiscriminately, resulting in at least 46 deaths. A military coup was staged later in the same day. During the military rule, the paramilitary groups' popularity diminished.
In contemporary Thailand, many extrajudicial killings occurred during the 2003 anti-drug effort
of Thailand's prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra were attributed to government-sponsored death squads. Rumors still persist that there is collusion between the government, rogue military officers and radical right wing/anti-drugs death squads, siamexpats.com Thailand: “The Corrupt Media Mogul v. The Crusading Journalist” CommitDeath Squad links. Drug war and more. Worldwide. Mostly U.S.-run or U.S.-aided terrorism. Millions killed over decades. Torture on an industrial scale. "Dirty wars," murder, corruption, destabilization, disinformation, subversion of democracy, etc.. AboveThailand's anti-drug death squads | Cannabis Culture Magazine Marihemp Network Gallery :: Thailand. 2500 extrajudicial drug-war killings of innocent people. Thailand War on Drugs Turns Murderous, 600 Killed This Month -- Human Rights Groups Denounce Death Squads, Executions Southeast Asia: Probe into Thai Drug War Killings Getting Underway | StoptheDrugWar.org
with both Muslim
and Buddhist
sectarian death squads still operating in the South of the country.
During the same era, the Communist Party of Germany
also operated its own assassination squads. Titled, the Rotfrontkämpferbund
they carried out assassinations of carefully selected individuals from the Weimar regime as well as assassinations of members of rival political parties. The most infamous operations of Weimar-era Communist death squads remain the 1931 slayings of Berlin police Captains Paul Anlauf
and Franz Lenck
. Those involved in the ambush either fled to the Soviet Union
or were arrested and prosecuted. Among those to receive the death penalty was Max Matern
, who was later glorified as a martyr
by the East German
State. The last surviving conspirator, former East German secret police
head Erich Mielke
, was belatedly tried and convicted for the murders in 1993. The evidence needed to successfully prosecute him had been found in his personal safe after German reunification
murder Jews in Ivanhorod
, Ukraine, 1942
In 1934, Hitler ordered the extrajudicial killings of Ernst Röhm
and all members of the Sturmabteilung
who remained loyal to him. Simultaneously, Hitler also ordered a mass purge of the German armed forces, targeting officers who, like General Kurt von Schleicher
, had opposed his drive for absolute power. These massacres have gone down in history as, "The Night of the Long Knives
Following the invasion of the Soviet Union
in 1941, the German military was followed by four travelling death squads called Einsatzgruppen
to hunt down and kill Jews, Communists and other so-called undesirables in the occupied areas. This was the first of the massacres
which comprised the Holocaust
. Typically, the victims, who included women and children, were forcibly marched from their homes to open graves or ravines before being shot. Many others suffocated in specially designed poison trucks called gas vans
. Between 1941 and 1944, the Einsatzgruppen
killed some two million people, including about 1.3 million Jews, as well as tens of thousands of suspected political dissidents, most of the Polish upper class and intelligentsia, POWs
, and uncounted numbers of Romany
These tactics ended only with the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945.
On the orders of the Party leadership and Stasi chief Erich Mielke
, the East German Government financed, armed, and trained, "urban guerrillas," from numerous countries. According to ex-Stasi Colonel Rainer Wiegand
, ties to terrorist organizations were overseen by Markus Wolf
and Department Three of the Stasi's foreign intelligence wing.
Members of the West German Rote Armee Fraktion
the ChileanManuel Rodríguez Patriotic Front
and the South African Umkhonto we Sizwe
were brought to East Germany for training in the use of military hardware and, "the leadership role of the Party."
Similar treatment was meted out to Palestinian terrorists from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
, Abu Nidal
, and Black September
Colonel Wiegand revealed that Mielke and Wolf provided bodyguards from the Stasi's counter-terrorism division for Senior PLO terrorist Carlos the Jackal
and Black September
leader Abu Daoud
during their visits to the GDR. Col. Wiegand had been sickened by the 1972 Munich massacre
and was horrified that the GDR would treat the man who ordered it as an honored guest. When he protested, Wiegand was told that Abu Daoud was, "a friend of our country, a high-ranking political functionary," and that there was no proof that he was a terrorist.
During the 1980s, Wiegand secretly recruited a Libyan diplomat into spying on his colleagues. Wiegand's informant told him that the La Belle bombing
and other terrorist attacks against western citizens were being planned at the Libyan Embassy in East Berlin. When Wiegand showed him a detailed report, Mielke informed the SED's Politburo, which ordered the Colonel to continue surveillance but not interfere with the plans of the Libyans.
Federal Republic of Germany
Following German reunification
, death squads linked to foreign intelligence services have continued to operate in Germany. The most infamous example of this remains the 1992 Mykonos restaurant assassinations
, in which a group of anti-Islamist Iranians were fatally machine-gunned in a Greek restaurant in Berlin. A German court ultimately convicted the assassins and exposed the involvement of intelligence services of the Islamic Republic of Iran
. The murder and subsequent trial has been publicized in the nonfiction bestseller The Assassins of the Turquois Palace
by Roya Hakakian
For most of World War II
, Hungary was an ally of Nazi Germany
. However, the Regency Council of Admiral Miklós Horthy
refused to permit the deportation of Hungarian Jews to Nazi death camps.
Then, in October 1944, Horthy announced a cease-fire with the Allies and ordered the Hungarian Army
to lay down their arms. In response, Nazi Germany launched Operation Panzerfaust
, a covert operation which forced Horthy to abdicate in favour of the Fascist and militantly racist Arrow Cross Party
, which was led by Ferenc Szálasi
. This was followed by an Arrow Cross coup
in Budapest on the same day. Szálasi was declared "Leader of the Nation" and prime minister of a "Government of National Unity
Arrow Cross rule, despite lasting only three months, was brutal. Death squads killed as many as 38,000 Hungarians. Arrow Cross officers helped Adolf Eichmann
re-activate the deportation proceedings from which the Jews of Budapest had previously been spared, sending some 80,000 Jews out of the city on slave labor details and many more straight to death camps. Many Jewish males of conscription age were already serving as slave labor for the Hungarian Army's Forced Labor Battalions
. Most of them died, including many who were murdered outright after the end of the fighting as they were returning home. Quickly formed battalions raided the Yellow Star Houses and combed the streets, hunting down Jews claimed to be partisans and saboteurs since Jews attacked Arrow Cross squads at least six to eight times with gunfire.
These approximately 200 Jews were taken to the bridges crossing the Danube, where they were shot and their bodies borne away by the waters of the river because many were attached to weights while they were handcuffed to each other in pairs.
troops reached the outskirts of the city in December 1944, and the Battle of Budapest
began, although it has often been claimed that there is no proof that the Arrow Cross members and the Germans conspired to destroy the Budapest ghetto.
Days before he fled the city, Arrow Cross Interior Minister Gabor Vájna commanded that streets and squares named after Jews be renamed.
As control of the city's institutions began to decay, the Arrow Cross trained their guns on the most helpless possible targets: patients in the beds of the city's two Jewish hospitals on Maros Street and Bethlen Square, and residents in the Jewish poorhouse on Alma Road. Arrow Cross members continually sought to raid the ghettos and Jewish concentration buildings; the majority of Budapest's Jews were saved only by a handful of Jewish leaders and foreign diplomats, most famously the Swedish Raoul Wallenberg
, the Papal Nuncio
Monsignor Angelo Rotta
, Swiss Consul Carl Lutz
and Francoist Spain
's consul general
, Giorgio Perlasca
Szálasi knew that the documents used by these diplomats to save Jews were invalid according to international law, but ordered that they be respected.
The Arrow Cross government effectively fell at the end of January 1945, when the Soviet Army took Pest and their enemies forces retreated across the Danube to Buda. Szálasi had escaped from Budapest on December 11, 1944,
taking with him the Hungarian royal crown
, while Arrow Cross members and German forces continued to fight a rear-guard action in the far west of Hungary until the end of the war in April 1945.
After the war, many of the Arrow Cross leaders were captured and tried for war crimes
. Many were executed, including Ferenc Szálasi. Fr. András Kun
, a Roman Catholic
priest who commanded an Arrow Cross death squad while dressed in his cassock
, was also convicted and hanged after the war. Fr. Kun's cassock remains on permanent display at the House of Terror
Irish War of Independence
A group of British intelligence agents (reputedly either the Cairo Gang
or Igoe Gang
) formed to counter IRA actions during the Irish War of Independence.
As British authority in Ireland began to disintegrate, Prime minister David Lloyd George
declared a state of emergency
. In order to defeat the IRA, Winston Churchill
, the Secretary of State for War
, suggested the recruitment of First World War veterans
into paramilitary law enforcement. Lloyd George agreed to the proposal, and advertisements were filed in British newspapers. Groups of formerly enlisted men were formed into the Black and Tans
, so called because of their mixture of British Army
and police uniforms. Veterans who had held officers rank were formed into the Auxiliary Division
, the members of which were higher paid and received better supplies. Members of both units, however, were despised by Irish civilians, against whom the "Tans" and "Auxies" routinely retaliated against for IRA raids and assassinations.
To make matters worse, it was also far from unheard of for the Regular army
, the RIC, or the Dublin Metropolitan Police to use the same tactics. In many cases, mixed forces of army, policemen, and paramilitaries would abduct, torture, and summarily execute Irish civilians who were suspected of being connected with the IRA or IRA members. This further eroded support for British rule among the Irish populace.
Enraged, Collins ordered the Twelve Apostles to hunt down and assassinate every one of the RIC officers involved in Mac Curtain's murder. On 22 August 1920, RIC District Inspector Oswald Swanzy, who had ordered the assassination, was shot dead with Mac Curtain's revolver while leaving a Protestant church service in Lisburn
, County Antrim
. This sparked a "pogrom
" against the Catholic residents of the town.
On Bloody Sunday
, Collins' men set out to assassinate members of a British army intelligence group known as the Cairo Gang
, killing or fatally wounding fifteen men, some of whom were unconnected to the Gang. In one incident, the IRA group was heard to scream, "May the Lord have mercy on your souls", before opening fire.
Collins later said of the incident,
My one intention was the destruction of the undesirables who continued to make miserable the lives of ordinary decent citizens. I have proof enough to assure myself of the atrocities which this gang of spies and informers have committed. If I had a second motive it was no more than a feeling such as I would have for a dangerous reptile. By their destruction the very air is made sweeter. For myself, my conscience is clear. There is no crime in detecting in wartime the spy and the informer. They have destroyed without trial. I have paid them back in their own coin.
That afternoon, British security forces opened fire into the crowd during a Gaelic football
match at Croke Park
, killing 14 and wounding 68 players and spectators.
Irish Civil War
Irish Army soldiers escorting a captured IRA member
After independence, Irish nationalist movement divided over the terms of the Anglo-Irish Treaty, which granted a partitioned Ireland Dominion
status within the British Empire
. Furthermore, all officials of the new Irish State were required to take an oath of allegiance
to King George V
As a result, the Irish Civil War
was fought between those Irish nationalists who accepted the Treaty and those who considered it treasonous. Although fought between men who had recently served together against the British, the fighting was often without quarter and brutal atrocities were committed by both sides.
In IRA communications, the Irish State was referred to as,"The Imperial Gang", the "Murder Government", and as "a British-imposed Dáil". Therefore, Irish men and women who supported the Free State were regarded as traitors. At the orders of IRA Chief of Staff Liam Lynch
, Anti-Treaty IRA
began raising money for their cause via armed robbery
of banks and post offices. On 30 November 1922, Liam Lynch issues what were dubbed the "orders of frightfulness", in which he ordered IRA members to assassinate members of the Irish Parliament, or Dáil Éireann, and Senators whenever possible. This General Order sanctioned the assassination of certain judges and newspaper editors. The IRA also launched a concerted arson
campaign against the homes of members of the Dáil, or TDs. Among these attacks were the burning of the house of TD James McGarry, resulting in the death of his seven-year-old son and the murder of Free state minister Kevin O'Higgins
elderly father and burning of his family home at Stradbally
in early 1923.
At the beginning of the Civil War, the Irish State formed a special counter-terrorism
police, which was called the Criminal Investigation Department
. Based in Dublin's Oriel House, the CID were despised by the Anti-Treaty IRA, which referred to them as "The Murder Gang". During the Battle of Dublin
, the CID is known to have shot 25 Anti-Treaty militants, officially while, "resisting arrest." Ultimately, the Irish State disbanded CID upon the cessation of hostilities in 1923.
Despite the best efforts of the Anti-Treaty forces, both the Irish Army
and the CID proved highly effective in both combat and intelligence work. One tactic involved placing IRA message couriers under surveillance, which routinely led the Irish security forces to senior members of the insurgency.
According to historian Tom Mahon
, the Irish Civil War "effectively ended" on 10 April 1923, when the Irish Army tracked down and mortally wounded Liam Lynch during a skirmish in the Knockmealdown Mountains
of County Tipperary
. Twenty days later, Lynch's successor, Frank Aiken
, gave the order to "Surrender and dump arms."
The first organized use of death squad violence in Russia dates from the 16th century reign of Ivan the Terrible
, the first Russian monarch to claim the title of Tsar
. Named the Oprichniki
, they wore quivers
which contained brooms, symbolizing their mission to ferret the enemies of the Tsar. They dressed in black garb, which was similar to a Russian Orthodox monastic habit
, and bore the insignia of a severed dog's head (to sniff out treason
and the enemies of the Tsar) and a broom (to sweep them away). The dog's head was also symbolic of their "nipping at the heels of the Tsar's enemies." They were sometimes called the "Tsar's Dogs" on account of their loyalty to him. They also rode black horses in order to inspire a greater level of terror.
Their oath of allegiance was: I swear to be true to the Lord, Grand Prince, and his realm, to the young Grand Princes, and to the Grand Princess, and not to maintain silence about any evil that I may know or have heard or may hear which is being contemplated against the Tsar, his realms, the young princes or the Tsaritsa. I swear also not to eat or drink with the zemshchina, and not to have anything in common with them. On this I kiss the cross.
Led by Malyuta Skuratov
, the Oprichniki routinely tortured and executed whomever the Tsar suspected of treason, including boyars
, merchants, clergymen, commoners, and even entire cities. The memoirs of Heinrich von Staden
, provide a detailed description of both the Tsar's motivations and the inner workings of the Oprichniki.
The most famous victims of the Oprichniki remains Kyr Philip Kolychev
, the Metropolitan bishop
. The Metropolitan gave a sermon in the Tsar's presence in which he rebuked Ivan for terrorizing and murdering large numbers of innocent people and their families. Enraged, Tsar Ivan convened a Church council which declared Metropolitan Philip defrocked
and imprisoned in a monastery for delinquent clergy. Years later, Tsar Ivan sent an emissary demanding Metropolitan Philip's blessing on his plans for the Novgorod massacre
. Metropolitan Philip said, "Only the good are blessed."
Enraged, Tsar Ivan sent Skuratov to personally strangle the Metropolitan in his monastic cell. Metropolitan Philip was subsequently glorified as a Saint by the Russian Orthodox Church.
Following the Bolshevik Revolution
, the former Russian Empire spent 73 years as a one party state ruled by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
. Especially between 1917 and 1953, the CPSU routinely ordered the abduction, torture, and execution of massive numbers of real and suspected anti-communists. Those with upper class origins were routinely targeted in this way during the early years of the Soviet Union.
Most of the repression was committed by the regular forces of the state, like the army and the police, but there were also many cases of clandestine and covert operations.
In the post-war period, the Russian Orthodox Church collaborated with the Soviet State in a campaign to eliminate Eastern Rite Catholicism
in the newly annexed regions of Soviet-ruled Ukraine.
Priests and laity who refused to convert to Orthodoxy were either assassinated or deported to the GULAGs
On 27 October 1947, the NKVD staged a car accident in order to assassinate the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic
Bishop Theodore Romzha
When the "accident" failed to kill the Bishop, the NKVD poisoned him in his hospital bed on 1 November 1947.
The Russian military has been accused of using death squads against Chechen insurgents
After defecting to the United States in October, 2000, Sergei Tretyakov
, an SVR
agent, accused the Government of the Russian Federation
of following Soviet-era practices by routinely assassinating its critics abroad.
, and Beria
distrusted Soviet participants in the Spanish war. Military advisors like Vladimir Antonov-Ovseenko
, journalists like Koltsov
were open to infection by the heresies, especially Trotsky
's, prevalent among the Republic's supporters. NKVD
agents sent to Spain were therefore keener on abducting and murdering anti-Stalinists among Republican leaders and International Brigade
commanders than on fighting Franco
. The defeat of the Republic, in Stalin's eyes, was caused not by the NKVD's diversionary efforts, but by the treachery of the heretics.
I have come to think, especially since my trip to Spain, that civil liberties must be protected at every stage. In Spain I am sure that the introduction of GPU
methods by the Communists did as much harm as their tank men, pilots and experienced military men did good. The trouble with an all powerful secret police in the hands of fanatics, or of anybody, is that once it gets started there's no stopping it until it has corrupted the whole body politic.
The ranks of the Republican assassination squads included Erich Mielke
, the future head of the East German Ministry of State Security
. Walter Janka, a veteran of the Republican forces who remembers him described Mielke's career as follows,
While I was fighting at the front, shooting at the Fascists, Mielke served in the rear, shooting Trotskyites
During the Troubles
in Northern Ireland
accusations of collusion between the British state and Loyalist
terror groups have been longstanding, with several army units implicated in accusations of collusion. The Military Reaction Force
(MRF) was a covert intelligence-gathering unit of the British Army active in Northern Ireland during the Troubles
, a former member described it as a "legalised death squad".
Another former MRF soldier said: "If you had a player who was a well-known shooter who carried out quite a lot of assassinations... then he had to be taken out. "[They were] killers themselves, and they had no mercy for anybody."
In Potočari, some of the executions were carried out at night under arc lights, and industrial bulldozers then pushed the bodies into mass graves.
According to evidence collected from Bosniaks by French policeman Jean-René Ruez, some were buried alive; he also heard testimony describing Serb forces killing and torturing refugees at will, streets littered with corpses, people committing suicide to avoid having their noses, lips and ears chopped off, and adults being forced to watch the soldiers kill their children.
The Iron Guard of Egypt
was a pro-palace political movement or a secret palace organization which assassinated Farouk of Egypt
's enemies or a secret unit with a licence to kill, which was believed to personally take orders from Farouk. It was involved in several deadly incidents.
The Iranian government's victims include civilians who have been killed by "death squads" that operate under the control of government agents but these killing operations have been denied by the Iranian government. This was particularly the case during the 1990s when more than 80 writers, translators, poets, political activists, and ordinary citizens who had been critical of the government in some way, disappeared or were found murdered
In 1983 the American Central Intelligence Agency
(CIA) gave one of the leaders of Iran Khomeini
information on Communist KGB
agents in Iran. This information was almost certainly used. Later, The Iranian regime occasionally used death squads throughout the 1970s, 80s, and 90s. However, by the 2000s, it seems to have almost if not entirely ceased its operations. This partial Westernization
of the country can be seen as paralleling similar events in Lebanon
, the United Arab Emirates
, and Northern Iraq
beginning in the late 1990s.
Iraq was formed by the British from three provinces of the Ottoman Empire
following the empire's breakup after World War I. Its population is overwhelmingly Muslim but is divided into Shiites and Sunnis, with a Kurdish minority in the north. The new state leadership in the capital of Baghdad
was formerly composed of, for the most part, the old Sunni Arab
After Saddam Hussein
was overthrown by the US-led invasion of Iraq
in 2003, the secular socialist Baathist
leadership were replaced with a provisional and later constitutional government that included leadership roles for the Shia and Kurds. This paralleled the development of ethnic militias by the Shia, Sunni, and the Kurdish Peshmerga
During the course of the Iraq War
the country has increasingly become divided into three zones: a Kurdish
ethnic zone to the north, a Sunni center and the Shia
ethnic zone to the south.
While all three groups have operated death squads,
in the national capital of Baghdad some members of the now Shia police department and army formed unofficial, unsanctioned, but long tolerated death squads.
They possibly have links to the Interior Ministry and are popularly known as the 'black crows'. These groups operated either by night or by day. They usually arrested people, then either tortured
or killed them.
The victims of these attacks were predominantly young males who had probably been suspected of being members of the Sunni insurgency
. Agitators such as Abdul Razaq al-Na'as, Dr. Abdullateef al-Mayah, and Dr. Wissam Al-Hashimi have also been killed. Women and children have also been arrested or killed.
Some of these killings have also been simple robberies or other criminal activities.
A feature in a May 2005 issue of the magazine of The New York Times
accused the U.S. military of modelling the "Wolf Brigade", the Iraqi interior ministry police commandos, on the death squads that were used in the 1980s to crush the Marxist
insurgency in El Salvador.
In 2004, the US dispatched James Steele
as an envoy and special training adviser to the Iraqi Special Police Commandos
who were later accused of torture and death squad activities. Steele had served in El Salvador in the 1980s, where he helped train government units involved in human rights violations death squads in their war against the FMLNF
Death squads were active during the civil war
from 1975 to 1990. The number of people who disappeared during the conflict is put around 17,000.
Human rights groups
- ^ Campbell, Bruce B. (2000). "Death Squads: Definition, Problems, and Historical Context". Death Squads in Global Perspective. pp. 1–26. doi:10.1057/9780230108141_1. ISBN 978-1-4039-6094-8.
- ^ Kaufman, Edy; Fagen, Patricia Weiss (27 November 1981). "Extrajudicial Executions: An Insight into the Global Dimensions of a Human Rights Violation". Human Rights Quarterly. 3: 81. doi:10.2307/762112. JSTOR 762112.
- ^ Laignel-Lavastine, Alexandra. Cioran, Eliade, Ionesco. L'oubli du fascisme. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 2002, 116.
- ^ Interview of Paul Aussaresses by Marie-Monique Robin in Escadrons de la mort – l'école française (See here, starting at 8min38)
- ^ Juan de Onas, "U.S. Suspends New Aid to El Salvador until Deaths Are Clarified," New York Times, Dec. 6 1980, p.1.
- ^ "When a wave of torture and murder staggered a small U.S. ally, truth was a casualty". Baltimore Sun. 11 June 1995.
- ^ Franchetti, Mark (26 April 2009). "Russian death squads 'pulverise' Chechens". The Times. London. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
- ^ "Villagers Tortured to Death in Ivory Coast Park – UN". Planet Ark. 18 March 2005. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
- ^ "Soro Guillaume et son escadron de la mort". Afrik.com. 17 February 2004.
- ^ "Ivory Coast". Genocidewatch.org. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
- ^ Lynch, Colum (29 January 2005). "Ivory Coast First Lady Leads Death Squad, Report Alleges". The Washington Post. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
- ^ "Les vérités de Gbagbo". Jeuneafrique.com. 18 September 2007.
- ^ "Kenyan counter-terrorism police confess to extra judicial killings". Al Jazeera Africa. 7 December 2014. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
- ^ Green, W. John (2015). A History of Political Murder in Latin America: Killing the Messengers of Change. p. 241.
- ^ Haley, James L. (1981). Apaches: A History and Culture Portrait. University of Oklahoma Press. p. 51. ISBN 978-0806129785.
- ^ Worcester, Donald Emmet (1985). Pioneer Trails West. Caxton Press. p. 93. ISBN 978-0870043048.
- ^ Jean Meyer, PhD La Cristiada: The Mexican People's War for Religious Liberty, ISBN 978-0-7570-0315-8. SquareOne Publishers.
- ^ "MEXICO-Massacre at Chenalho Erasing Chiapas Uprising". Economic and Political Weekly, Economic and Political Weekly, Economic and Political Weekly, Economic and Political Weekly, Economic and Political Weekly. 50, 50, 50, 50, 50, 33 (23, 23, 23, 23, 23, –1): 7, 7, 7, 7, 7–8, 8, 8, 8, 8. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
- ^ "Chiapas massacre convictions overturned". BBC. 14 January 2000. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
- ^ "El Chapo metió mucho dinero a la campaña de Peña Nieto: agente de la DEA". elmanana.com.
- ^ "EPN y PRI pactaron la liberación de Caro Quintero: ex agente de la DEA". Diariocambio.com/mx. 26 February 2014.
- ^ Rojas, Ana Gabriela (15 March 2018). "La ONU dice que la investigación de la desaparición de los 43 estudiantes de Ayotzinapa en México fue "afectada por torturas y encubrimiento"". BBC News Mundo.
- ^ "Caso Ayotzinapa: "Fue el Estado", dice Morena y PRD; "…de Guerrero", completa el PRI". 10 September 2015.
- ^ "Mensajes entre 'Guerreros Unidos' muestran "debilidad" de "verdad histórica" del caso Ayotzinapa: Centro Pro - Aristegui Noticias".
- ^ "Militia and Indians". militarymuseum.org.
- ^ "Minorities During the Gold Rush". California Secretary of State. Archived from the original on February 1, 2014.
- ^ Madley, Benjamin (2016). An American Genocide, The United States and the California Catastrophe, 1846–1873. Yale University Press. pp. 11, 351. ISBN 978-0-300-18136-4.
- ^ Joel R. Hyer (ed.). "Exterminate Them: Written Accounts of the Murder, Rape, and Enslavement of Native Americans during the California Gold Rush, Michigan State UP, 1999". San Marcos.
- ^ Madley, Benjamin (2012). American Genocide: The California Indian Catastrophe, 1846-1873. Yale University Press.
- ^ Arthur D. Brenner and Bruce B. Campbell, Eds. "Death Squads in Global Perspective: Murder With Deniability," New York: St. Martin's Press (2000).
- ^ "Compton Executioners deputy gang lied about guns and hosted inking parties, deputy says". Los Angeles Times. 21 August 2020.
- ^ Dazio | AP, Stefanie. "Los Angeles deputy says colleagues are part of violent gang" – via www.washingtonpost.com.
- ^ "Whistleblower: Deputy Who Shot Andres Guardado Was Trying to Join Executioners". Los Angeleno. 1 September 2020.
- ^ Bonner, Raymond, Weakness and Deceit:: U.S. Policy and El Salvador, New York Times Books, 1984, p.330
- ^ Arnson, Cynthia J. "Window on the Past: A Declassified History of Death Squads in El Salvador" in Death Squads in Global Perspective: Murder with Deniability, Campbell and Brenner, eds, 88
- ^ "El Salvador Death Squads Still Operating". Banderasnews.com. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
- ^ Notorious Salvadoran Battalion Is Disbanded : Military: U.S.-trained Atlacatl unit was famed for battle prowess but was also implicated in atrocities. Los Angeles Times. 9 December 1992.
- ^ "When a wave of torture and murder staggered a small U.S. ally, truth was a casualty. –". The Baltimore Sun. 11 June 1995. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
- ^ "U.S. continues to train Honduran soldiers". Republic Broadcasting Network. 21 July 2009. Archived from the original on 23 July 2011. Retrieved 3 August 2009.
- ^ Imerman, Vicky; Heather Dean (2009). "Notorious Honduran School of the Americas Graduates". Derechos Human Rights. Archived from the original on 4 December 2008. Retrieved 3 August 2009.
- ^ a b Holland, Clifton L. (June 2006). "Honduras – Human Rights Workers Denounce Battalion 3–16 Participation in Zelaya Government" (PDF). Mesoamérica Institute for Central American Studies. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 July 2011. Retrieved 3 August 2009.
- ^ Hodge, James; Linda Cooper (14 July 2009). "U.S. continues to train Honduran soldiers". National Catholic Reporter. Archived from the original on 1 August 2009. Retrieved 5 August 2009.
- ^ "Comunicado" (in Spanish). COFADEH. 3 July 2009. Retrieved 5 August 2009.
- ^ a b Goodman, Amy (31 July 2009). "Zelaya Speaks". Z Communications. Archived from the original on 24 December 2013. Retrieved 1 August 2009.
- ^ Comité de Familiares de Detenidos Desaparecidos en Honduras (February 2007). "Hnd – Solicitan al Presidente Zelaya la destitución de integrantes del Batallón 3–16 nombrados en el Ministerio del Interior". Nizkor. Archived from the original on 24 September 2009. Retrieved 7 August 2009.
- ^ Leiva, Noe (2 August 2009). "No se avizora el fin de la crisis hondureña". El Nuevo Herald/AFP. Archived from the original on 5 August 2009. Retrieved 7 August 2009.
- ^ Mejía, Lilian; Mauricio Pérez; Carlos Girón (18 July 2009). "Pobladores Exigen Nueva Ley De Minería: 71 Detenidos Y 12 Heridos En Batalla Campal" (in Spanish). MAC: Mines and Communities. Archived from the original on 17 September 2009. Retrieved 7 August 2009.
- ^ Michael MeClintock, The American Connection, vol. 2, State Terror and Popular Resistance in Guatemala (London: Zed, 1985), pp. 84–85.
- ^ Gabriel Aguilera Peralta, "The Militarization of the State", in Guatemala in Rebellion: Unfinished History
- ^ "Chapter 4: The 1980s". Shr.aaas.org. 31 January 1980. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
- ^ Grandin, Greg. "America's trinity of terrorism". salon.com. Archived from the original on 13 October 2008.
- ^ "U.S. POLICY IN GUATEMALA, 1966-1996". gwu.edu.
- ^ AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL, 1981, Guatemala: A Government Program of Political Murder, in: The New York Review of Books, 19 March 1981
- ^ Jones, Nate (4 December 2011). "Astonishing Discovery of Remains of Guatemalan Death Squad Diary Victims". NSA Archive. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
- ^ Jagger, Christopher Dickey|Bianca (12 June 2018). "Facing Down the Death Squads of Nicaragua". The Daily Beast.
- ^ "Ortega's paramilitary groups on shooting spree against protestors; Church dialogue backed talks collapse".
- ^ "OAS: Condemn Egregious Abuses in Nicaragua". 22 June 2018.
- ^ Amnesty International – Getting Away With Murder: Political Killings and Disappearances in the 1990s, 1993,36
- ^ Sociedade, cultura e política: ensaios críticos. Ana Amélia da Silva, Miguel Wady Chaia, Carmen Junqueira – 2004 – p. 625
- ^ Vigilantism and the state in modern Latin America: essays on extralegal violence Martha Knisely Huggins (ed.) – 1991 – p. 211
- ^ Stickler, Angus (23 November 2005). "Brazilian police 'execute thousands'". BBC News. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
- ^ Goodwin, Karin (3 December 2005). "Amnesty demands crackdown on police death squads in Brazil". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 22 May 2009. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
- ^ "Jair Bolsonaro's son a growing risk to Brazil's government". Deutsche Welle. 24 January 2019.
- ^ "Video: As Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro Prepares to Meet Donald Trump, His Family's Close Ties to Notorious Paramilitary Gangs Draw Scrutiny and Outrage". The Intercept. 18 March 2019.
- ^ Chile priest charged over deaths, BBC, 1 September 2007
- ^ Caravan of Death Archived 29 August 2005 at the Wayback Machine, Memoria y Justicia
- ^ Procesan a Pinochet y ordenan su arresto por los secuestros y homicidios de la "Caravana de la Muerte", 20minutos, 28 November 2006.
- ^ "Report of the Chilean National Commission on Truth and Reconciliation" (PDF). United States Institute of Peace.
- ^ a b c Kovalik, Dan (24 March 2014). "Death Squads Continue to Reign in Colombia". Huffington Post. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
- ^ a b "Document". www.amnesty.org.
- ^ Rangel, Alfredo (editor); William Ramírez Tobón, Juan Carlos Garzón, Stathis Kalyvas, Ana Arjona, Fidel Cuéllar Boada, Fernando Cubides Cipagauta (2005). El Poder Paramilitar. Bogotá: Editorial Planeta Colombiana S.A., 26.
- ^ "human rights watch | colombia ? guerra sin cuartel". Hrw.org. Retrieved 15 March 2011.
- ^ "Piden investigar a exgobernadores de Antioquia en caso Chiquita Brands". El Tiempo. 31 August 2018. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
- ^ "Chiquita Brands faces new death squad charges in Colombia". AP NEWS. 31 August 2018. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
- ^ Carroll, Rory; correspondent, Latin America (18 May 2007). "Colombian warlord says US firms paid death squads for bananas". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
- ^ "Caso Barrios Altos". Juicioysancionafujimori.org. Archived from the original on 19 February 2008. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
- ^ "Sótanos del SIE". Juicioysancionafujimori.org. Archived from the original on 16 April 2009. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
- ^ "Comando Rodrigo Franco" (PDF).
- ^ "World Report 2002: Venezuela". Human Rights Watch.
- ^ "World Report 2003: Venezuela". Human Rights Watch.
- ^ Miles, Tom (4 July 2019). "Venezuela death squads kill young men, stage scenes, U.N. report says" – via www.reuters.com.
- ^ "Venezuela's army death squads kill thousands — UN | DW | 04.07.2019". DW.COM.
- ^ "Death of Youth in Rab Action". The Daily Star. 21 May 2007.
- ^ "Rapid Action Battalion won't be used for political purpose". Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation. 18 February 2005.
- ^ "Ex-AL men, Ex-RAB officials among 26 handed death penalty". Prothom Alo. Archived from the original on 19 January 2017. Retrieved 21 January 2017.
- ^ "7-murder: Nur Hossain, Rab commander Tareque, 24 others get death". The Daily Star. 16 January 2017. Retrieved 21 January 2017.
- ^ Janzon, Beatrice (4 April 2017). "Exclusive: Officer Exposes Brutal Killings by Bangladeshi Elite Police Unit RAB". Swedish Radio. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
- ^ Muktadir Rashid (30 August 2014). "The List grows Longer". New Age. Dhaka. Retrieved 31 August 2014.
- ^ Chandler, David. "The Killing Fields". The Digital Archive Of Cambodian Holocaust Survivors. Archived from the original on 20 February 2009.
- ^ "Spate of clandestine killings in Assam strengthens public fears that the state has adopted new strategy to terrorise suspected ULFA sympathisers". India Today. 8 November 1999.
- ^ "Secret killings in Assam: 400 people murdered. But no one killed them". catchnews.
- ^ "SULFA - Terror By Another Name". South Asia Terrorism Portal.
- ^ "The 'secret killings' of Assam in literature". Himal SouthAsian. 1 November 2013.
- ^ " "Justice K.N. Saikia Commission Report on Secret Killings of Assam". Internet Archive. 12 March 2016.
- ^ Perry, Juliet (21 July 2016). "Tribunal finds Indonesia guilty of 1965 genocide; US, UK complicit". CNN. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
- ^ Mark Aarons (2007). "Justice Betrayed: Post-1945 Responses to Genocide." In David A. Blumenthal and Timothy L. H. McCormack (eds). The Legacy of Nuremberg: Civilising Influence or Institutionalised Vengeance? (International Humanitarian Law). Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. pp. 80–81 ISBN 9004156917
- ^ Indonesia's killing fields. Al Jazeera, December 21, 2012. Retrieved August 20, 2017.
- ^ "Looking into the massacres of Indonesia's past". BBC News. 2 June 2016. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
- ^ "Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte urged people to kill drug addicts". Associated Press. 1 July 2016 – via The Guardian.
- ^ "Between Duterte and a death squad, a Philippine mayor fights drug-war violence". Reuters. 16 March 2017.
- ^ "Unknown Truth about Korea". Brianwillson.com. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
- ^ "Channel 4 – History – Tit for tat". Channel 4. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
- ^ Branford, Becky (18 May 2005). "Lingering legacy of Korean massacre". BBC.
- ^ "Thailand: Death Squads and Roadside Bombs". Strategypage.com. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
- ^ "The Extermination of Ottoman Armenians by the Young Turk Regime (1915-1916) | Sciences Po Mass Violence and Resistance - Research Network". extermination-ottoman-armenians-young-turk-regime-1915-1916.html. 25 January 2016.
- ^ "Algeria general 'a war criminal'". BBC. 8 May 2001.
- ^ Koehler (1999), pages 362-363.
- ^ Koehler (1999), pages 387-401.
- ^ Koehler (1999), pages 311-315.
- ^ Koehler (1999), pages 316-318.
- ^ Koehler (1999), page 313.
- ^ Koehler (1999), pages 359-386.
- ^ Koehler (1999), page 317.
- ^ Koehler (1999), pages 368-371.
- ^ Koehler (1999), pages 363-367.
- ^ Koehler (1999), pages 365-366.
- ^ Koehler (1999), pages 325-357.
- ^ Ex-E. German Official Charged With Fraud and Embezzlement, Los Angeles Times', April 28, 1991.
- ^ "World IN BRIEF : GERMANY : Ex-Security Chief Accused in Attack", Los Angeles Times, March 27, 1991.
- ^ Stars and Stripes Published: August 5, 2005
- ^ Jessup, John E. (1998). An encyclopedic dictionary of conflict and conflict resolution, 1945-1996 (Google books). Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 409. ISBN 978-0-313-28112-9. Retrieved 6 December 2010.
- ^ a b "Szita Szabolcs: A budapesti csillagos házak (1944–45)". 15 February 2006.
- ^ "Open Society Archives". Central European University. Archived from the original on 2 February 2009.
- ^ Patai, p. 586
- ^ Patai, p. 589
- ^ a b "Szálasi Ferenc és a hungaristák zsidópolitikája volt a jobb". Archived from the original on 2 February 2009. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
- ^ Coogan, Tim Pat (1991). Michael Collins. Arrow Books. pp. 123–124. ISBN 978-0-09-968580-7.
- ^ Coogan, p. 149.
- ^ 'When the killing starts do you defend God or family?' Irish Independent, Independent.ie, accessed 15/12/09,
- ^ T. Ryle Dwyer, The Squad and the Intelligence Operations of Michael Collins, Mercier Press, 2005. Pages 172–187.
- ^ Dwyer, p. 191
- ^ Todd Andrews, Dublin Made Me, p269
- ^ Tom Mahon & James J. Gillogly, Decoding the IRA, Mercier Press, 2008. Page 66.
- ^ Isabel de Madariaga, Ivan the Terrible, page 183
- ^ Rev. Christopher Zugger, Finding a Hidden Church, Eastern Christian Publications, 2009.
- ^ Finding a Hidden Church, pages 33–212.
- ^ Finding a Hidden Church, pages 78–82.
- ^ Finding a Hidden Church, page 82-86.
- ^ "13 October 2003". The Nation. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
- ^ Donald Rayfield, Stalin and his Hangmen: The Tyrant and Those Who Killed for Him, Random House, 2004. Pages 362–363.
- ^ Diggins, John Patrick, "'Organization is Death': John Dos Passos," and "Visions of Order: Dos Passos," in Up From Communism, 1975, Columbia University Press, then Harper & Row, pp. 74-117, and pp. 233-268.
- ^ John Koehler, "The Stasi", page 48.
- ^ "Army unit 'killed unarmed civilians'". BBC News. 21 November 2013.
- ^ "undercover soldiers". BBC News. 6 February 2020.
- ^ Ingram, Martin; Harkin, Greg (2004). Stakeknife: Britain's Secret Agents in Ireland. O'Brien Press. pp. 95–98. ISBN 978-0862788438.
- ^ Taylor, Peter (1993). States of Terror. BBC. p. 153. ISBN 0-563-36774-1.
- ^ "Mladic shadow hangs over Srebrenica trial". The Guardian. London. 21 August 2006. Retrieved 1 November 2008.
- ^ Corder, Mike (20 August 2006). "Srebrenica Genocide Trial to Restart". The Washington Post. Associated Press. Retrieved 1 November 2008.
- ^ "UN Srebrenica immunity questioned". BBC. 18 June 2008. Retrieved 1 November 2008.
- ^ Williams, Daniel. "Srebrenica Video Vindicates Long Pursuit by Serb Activist". The Washington Post. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
- ^ a b Graham Jones. Srebrenica: A Triumph of Evil, CNN 3 May 2006
- ^ "APPEALS CHAMBER JUDGEMENT IN THE CASE THE PROSECUTOR v. RADISLAV KRSTI" (PDF). United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Retrieved 7 December 2020.
- ^ Abrahamian, Ervand, Tortured Confessions, (1999)
- ^ Elaine Sciolino, Persian Mirrors: the Elusive Face of Iran, Free Press, 2000, p.241
- ^ "U.S. cracks down on Iraq death squads". CNN. 24 July 2006.
- ^ Beaumont, Peter (11 September 2006). "US patrols to weed out militias posing as Iraqi police". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
- ^ "Iraq's Death Squads". The Washington Post. 4 December 2005. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
- ^ "'25,000 civilians' killed in Iraq". BBC. 19 July 2005.
- ^ Maass, Peter (1 May 2005). "The Way of the Commandos". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
- ^ Mahmood, Mona; O'Kane, Maggie; Madlena, Chavala; Smith, Teresa; Ferguson, Ben; Farrelly, Patrick; Grandjean, Guy; Strauss, Josh; et al. (6 March 2013). "From El Salvador to Iraq: Washington's man behind brutal police squads". The Guardian. London.
- ^ ""Disappearances" in Lebanon". Human Rights Watch. 12 April 2000. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
- ^ "Syria: Account for the "Disappeared"". Human Rights Watch. 8 November 1999. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
- ^ a b Sloan, Stephen; Anderson, Sean K. (2009). "Gray Wolves". Historical Dictionary of Terrorism. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press. pp. 213–4. ISBN 9780810863118.
- ^ Combs, Cindy C.; Slann, Martin (2007). Encyclopedia of terrorism. New York: Facts On File. p. 110. ISBN 9781438110196. The Grey Wolves, the unofficial militant arm of the MHP, has been involved in street killings and gunbattles.
- ^ Ganser, Daniele (2005). NATO's Secret Armies: Operation GLADIO and Terrorism in Western Europe. Routledge. p. 240. ISBN 9781135767853.
- ^ Idiz, Semih (29 March 2013). "Turkey's Ultra-Nationalists Playing With Fire". Al-Monitor.
- ^ Marcus, Aliza (2007). Blood and Belief: The PKK and the Kurdish Fight for Independence. New York University Press. p. 50. ISBN 9780814796115. ...attacks on minority Alawite communities by the Grey Wolves, including the Kahramanmaras massacre in 1978...
- ^ Orhan Kemal Cengiz (25 December 2012). "Why was the commemoration for the Maraş massacre banned?". Today's Zaman. Archived from the original on 7 October 2015. This was the beginning of the massacre; later on, angry mobs led by grey wolves scattered into the city, killing and raping hundreds of Alevis.
- ^ Sullivan, Colleen (2011). Martin, Gus (ed.). The SAGE Encyclopedia of Terrorism (2nd ed.). Sage Publications. pp. 236–7. ISBN 9781412980166.
- ^ CWI reporters in Istanbul (2 May 2010). "Hundreds of thousands on Taksim Square on Mayday". Committee for a Workers' International. Archived from the original on 22 October 2014. In 1977, at the peak of a revolutionary movement in Turkey, half a million gathered there. Immediately after the demonstration began, snipers – from the fascist Grey Wolves, or from the police (this is still not clear today) – began shooting at the masses.
- ^ Prabha, Kshitij (April 2008). "Defining Terrorism". New Delhi, India: Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses. Mohamed Ali Agca of Turkey, the man who shot at Pope John Paul II in Rome had no political motive. The investigating agency in Italy tried to establish his link with the Turkey based terrorist group, 'Grey Wolf,' however, could not get any evidence of his political connection.
- ^ "Project on Extrajudicial Executions". Extrajudicialexecutions.org. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
- ^ "UN independent expert on extrajudicial killings urges action on reported incidents". United Nations. 28 March 2007. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
"Mohamed Ali Agca of Turkey, the man who shot at Pope John Paul II in Rome had no political motive. The investigating agency in Italy tried to establish his link with the Turkey based terrorist group, 'Grey Wolf,' however, could not get any evidence of his political connection."
- Death squad: The anthropology of state terror Jeffrey Sluka (ed), University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999
- Death squads in global perspective: Murder with deniability Bruce Campbell and Arthur Brenner (eds), Palgrave Macmillan, 2003
- The political economy of death squads: Toward a theory of the impact of state-sanctioned terror T David Mason and Dale A Krane, International Studies Quarterly (33: 2), 1989, pp. 175–198
- Jallad: Death squads and state terror in South Asia[permanent dead link] Tasneem Khalil, Pluto Press, 2015
- Secret killings of Assam: The Horror Tales from the Land of Red River and Blue Hills Mrinal Talukdar, Utpal Borpujari, Kaushik Deka, Nanda Talukdar Foundation, 2009
Last edited on 13 May 2021, at 21:27
Content is available under CC BY-SA 3.0
unless otherwise noted.