Estevao Nuno – The 12 November Committee working with the Forensic Police Unit has been able to recover the remains of 16 victims of the 12 November 1991 Santa Massacre in Dili.
The Acting President of the 12 November Committee, Rogerio Castro da Cruz said the committee will continue to work with the Forensic Police, to recover more than just the 16 remains which included those of a slain New Zealand journalist.
"The remains of the killed journalist were sent to his country. The remains of five other victims are being kept because of discrepant blood samples. Some other remains are still at the National Hospital of Guido Valadares (HNGV). Other remains have already been returned to their relatives. The government has also buried some remains as well," he said in Dili.
He added that many others slain during the 12 November 1991 Santa Cruz Massacre have not yet been recovered but the committee will continue its search for them.
"The committee continues to urge the governments of Timor-Leste and Indonesia to be proactive in giving information and recovering the remains of the victims," he said.
He added, the remains have equal rights to a dignified burial so the committee continues to urge the two governments through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and the Ministry of Justice to recover all the remains.
"We continue to ask the Indonesian Military to show us the places where they dumped the bodies so we can go dig for them and give them a proper burial," he said.
Meanwhile, a relative of one of slain heroes during the 12 November 1991 massacre, Agustinho Guterres said the families of the victims of the massacre urge the governments of Timor-Leste and Indonesia to continue investigating to discover the remains of all the other victims that have not yet been recovered.
"Today we remember the 27thAnniversary of the Santa Cruz Massacre and I am upset because my brother's remains have not yet been recovered," he said.