Those people have been taken from their homes and have been treated like animals, the witness stated. The witness feels that Bouterse did not partake in an official military campaign at all. It simply were brutal and cowardly acts of murder conducted by Bouterse himself, the witness declared. The witness also made known that Bouterse was trading weapons with FARC, in return for drugs.
On 1st Januari 2012, Bouterse was installed as the new chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM)
Dutch language news articles:
Bouterse has denied any involvement in the killings on 8 December 1982 at Fort Zeelandia, in which 15 prominent opponents of the military regime were shot dead. He denied being present and that the decision was made by the commander of the battalion, Paul Bhagwandas, who died in 1996. He did, however, accept political responsibility.
One of the people killed was Cyrill Daal who appears to have begged Bouterse to spare his life. Bouterse did not feel that ‘begging’ was a particularly manly act and therefore he castrated Daal and ended up shooting Daal in the stomach multiple times.
During the Suriname Guerrilla War between the Surinamese military regime, headed by Dési Bouterse and the Jungle Commando led by Ronnie Brunswijk, Moiwana was the scene of the Moiwana massacre on November 29, 1986. The army attacked the village, killing at least 35 of the inhabitants, mostly women and children, and burning the house of Ronnie Brunswijk. The survivors fled with thousands of other inland inhabitants over the Marowijne river to neighbouring French Guiana.
The human rights organisation Moiwana ’86 has committed itself to justice with regard to this event. A chief inspector of the police, Herman Gooding, was murdered in August 1990 while carrying out an investigation of the massacre. Reportedly he was forced out of his car near Fort Zeelandia and shot in the head, with his body left outside the office of Desi Bouterse. Other police investigators fled the country, stalling the investigation.
In December 2011 President Desi Bouterse has granted a pardon to his foster son Romano M. who was convicted of murder in 2005. Romano M. was convicted of the brutal robbery of a Chinese trader in 2002. Romano M. sat out a sentence of 15 years for manslaughter, robbery and throwing a hand grenade at the house of the Dutch ambassador. Judge Valstein-Montnor, also the judge in the December Murders-case, considered proven by evidence that Romano M. tried to commit a similar robbery at a later stage. This was however prevented by guards from the Dutch embassy. In response, Romano M. then threw a hand grenade from a car to the residence of the Dutch ambassador.
The pardon caused commotion in the country, as it is the first time a President pardons a murder with robbery. “This is contrary to the natural justice of all Surinamese,” said former justice minister Chandrikapersad Santokhi. “People that have committed such heavy offends, should not get a pardon.” Bouterse’s staff denied that there was favoritism, as there were strong legal arguments for the pardon. MP Aziz Gajadien stated that the Bouterse-administration also intends to pardon predatory murderers, rapists and coke dealers, as they are now eligible for an early parole. Gajadien stated that 11 early releases are based on unclear criteria. Former convicts also appear near Bouterse. In Bouterse’s delegation that visited a South American summit, two other members apart from Bouterse, had a criminal drug record: former military Etienne Boerenveen and Hans Jannasch. “Such people now circulate around the state power”, said former president Venetiaan. “Their history is known.”