Simplicio is a customs official in independent East Timor who lives with the trauma of torture he suffered during the 11 November 1991 massacre by the Indonesian military. He survived the massacre, in Dili’s Santa Cruz cemetery, but lives with images of his student friends who didn’t. His ear was cut off by a soldier at the height of the violence, he was later detained at Lahane hospital and Polda police barracks, Dili, before transfer to the eastern town of Lospalos, where he became a slave labourer for the elite Kostrad regiment during two years.
This item digitized and made available online with funds provided by United States
Department of Education, TICFIA (Technological Innovation and Cooperation for Foreign Information) Grant P337A05006.
Notes: A note on the language of the interview:
Simplício’s mother tongue is Tetum, and his preference was to be interviewed in it. Living Memory Project’s main working language is Portuguese, but the project also conducts interviews in translation from Tetum and other local languages. Because Simplício’s Portuguese was perfectly intelligible to us, and because a translator would break the valuable psychological rapport between interviewer and interviewed, we chose that language to give maximum impact to his story. Purists may object, but as a Portuguese colleague noted: ‘The important thing is that we communicate with each other’.
Place of Interview: Santa Cruz cemetery and Lahane hospital, Dili, East Timor.
Credits: Archival preparation: Maria da Silva Benfica
Interviewer: Jill Jolliffe
Filmed by: Nicola Daley
Camera Assistant: Elvis Sarmento Guterres
Text transcription: Filomeno Ferreira
Editing: Velinda Wardell
Other Names: ‘Mau Huno of the city’; Date of Birth: 1961-09-25; Prisons: Dili, East Timor (Timor-Leste); Other Prisoners: Battalions 303; Brimob; TNI, army; Kopassus special forces; Martin; Kostrad battalion 503; Kostrad battalion 501; Saba; Profos. ; Perpetrators: Lahane hospital; Polda police barracks, Comoro, Dili; Kostrad barracks, Lospalos.