The Killing of Joaquim Bernardino Guterres
On August 26, 1999, four days before East Timor was to vote on its independence from Indonesia, violence broke out between the feared militia, the black-clothed Aitarak, and pro-independence supporters in the capital Dili. For two hours the militia attacked independence supporters with M16 rifles, homemade grenades and pistols. Finally Indonesian police arrived, even though their headquarters were just down the road. People under attack begged the police to do something to stop the militia. One victim, Joaquim Bernardino Guterres, implored the police to help, but they told him and other independence supporters to just leave the premises. After Guterres wouldn't stop begging for help, the police turned against him--not the militia. Barefoot and armed only with two rocks, Guterres was beaten by the police before he broke free and ran. But 10 seconds later it was over. Guterres lay shot dead at the hands of an Indonesian police officer.
Next > Photographs by John Stanmeyer/Saba for TIME
STORY: To Our Readers