Talk:Death squad

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  • Discuss creation of table of current death squad groups and their operational areas. (National, Regional, Global)


  • Discuss creation of table of current free and living death squad members and last known location known to the public.

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    Needs Reference[edit]

    "The former Soviet Union and Communist Bloc countries used to kill dissidents via extrajudicial killing during the Cold War. Those who were not killed were sent to KGB run 'Gulag' prison camps."

    Reference please[edit]

    "The use of computers by the American forces to compile lists of 'suspects' as well as the indefinite detention of 'suspects' in 'black' locations as well as their detention, torture, and execution without judicial oversight or protection is typical of American black ops in the Post World War II era." --211.10.45.194 (talk) 12:40, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

    disambigation?[edit]

    Some of the death squads seem to be of a viglante variety, while others seem closer to psycho serial killers with unusually good organization. is their more precis terms that may reflect this difference? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 209.195.82.157 (talk) 20:32, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

    IRA[edit]

    The most recent edit removed the adjective Provisional in front of IRA. Actually, this was a more accurate statement. Though the term has evaporated in recent years, esp in the U.S. press, the "Provos" are indeed the current iteration of this 90-year-old movement. See http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/static/in_depth/northern_ireland/2001/provisional_ira/2005.stm

    As an aside, I am amused by press reports quoting the IRA's edict to "dump arms," as if this meant to destroy them. Of course this is an exact echo of De Valera's 1923 (whatever) order to the "Legion of the Rear Guard." They were to put their weapons into their arms dumps and save them for the "second round."

    Actually the RIRA is the current IRA, the one you mentioned was active since 1997. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 196.41.124.8 (talk) 02:08, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

    Israel[edit]

    Don't forget Israel's roving, global death squads. They announced them in early 2003;[1][2] Australia noticed[3] but apparently thought it was SEP[4] until the spies New Zealand captured leaked that Israel kills cripples for their passports.[5] 142.177.24.141 16:20, 26 Jul 2004 (UTC) (This is just one of the reason I thought Arik Sharon should be a see also under chutzpah)

    Israel's Mossad is not a Death Squad. It is an intelligence agency like the CIA or MI6. - Mr.NorCal55 (talk) 04:23, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
    Israel does have Death Squads. See the article on the Kidon. This needs to be remedied. Now. Szfski (talk) 14:27, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
    first thing I thought was "Where's israel?".
    I agree. The response to the Munich massacre in 1972 was stereotypical death squad behavior, but there is no entry. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.186.103.224 (talk) 01:18, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
    Someone with more knowledge on the subject than me should write the section (given its likely controversial nature) but I'll take a stab at it if no one else doesSzfski (talk) 01:20, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

    Correction on USSR[edit]

    Stalin's NKVD did not employ death squads, except for a few special clandestine murders (Trotsky, Mikhoels, allegedly Kirov). It's nowhere near the million figure. Almost all arrests and shootings were conducted as official routine by regular operatives.

    Revisionist rubbish. [6] goes into great detail. --Nozzer71 (talk) 09:30, 23 April 2013 (UTC)

    anon comment[edit]

    A disagreement by one person: I consider this phrase to be meaningless. It is typically used by news organizations any time that a person is killed for real or apparent political purposes. It is used to conjure up certain images which may or may not actually apply to a given assassination. [24.177.166.137, 16:06 3 April 2005]

    Haiti[edit]

    please stop re-editing in BS about Haiti. it makes no sense for the Clinton administration to be supporting FRAPH when a) Aristide was granted asylum in the U.S., b) thanks to the military regime we had to deal with a massive refugee problem, and c) Aristide was only restored to the presidency thanks to U.S. intervention. J. Parker Stone 22:49, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)

    This is at best personal research and speculation. When you provide evidence and citations, as per Wikipedia policy, then I'll let the material stay. Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 07:39, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)

    it's not original research, it's common knowledge. the "U.S.-backing" is just a cheap attempt to give the impression of U.S. support while ignoring the actions taken in favor of Aristide. J. Parker Stone 22:09, 10 May 2005 (UTC)

    1. I've changed the header to remove the silly reference by User:Trey Stone to another editor; I've also replaced the comment removed by Viajero (well, I tried, but after an edit conflict found that I was beaten to it).
    2. "Common knowledge" is not an acceptable ground for editing. Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 22:27, 10 May 2005 (UTC)

    ...? I don't need a source to prove that Clinton restored Aristide to power any more than I need a source to prove that the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor or that the Nazis killed Jews. J. Parker Stone 22:29, 10 May 2005 (UTC)

    But that isn't what's at issue, as has been explained before. Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 22:39, 10 May 2005 (UTC)

    Furthermore, the burden of proof is on you. Constant says that the CIA paid him to provide them with intelligence on Lavalas. That does not mean they paid him to go hack off people's arms or rape women. J. Parker Stone 22:34, 10 May 2005 (UTC)

    Alan Nairn's widely acclaimed (and as far as i know, indisputed) research clearly proves that FRAPH were CIA assets. As were other members of the Haitian military and police at the time including the drug trafficker Michel Francois. 74.102.158.68 (talk) 18:03, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

    Apology[edit]

    Trey Stone: I am sorry for deleting a comment of yours [7]; it was an accident. Normally, I never touch other peoples' comments on Talk pages. -- Viajero 00:16, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

    ATTN Davenbelle (again)[edit]

    Please stop re-editing in supposed U.S. "support" for FRAPH. Being on the CIA payroll at one point does not mean the agency endorses everything you do -- it's an intelligence agency for chrissakes. Chilean DINA chief Contreras was accidentally paid once by the CIA while the U.S. cut off arms shipments to the country in 1976; and Noriega was on the payroll before, and we overthrew him in '90 (or '91, I can't remember.) Your tactic is nothing but a cheap attempt to smear the U.S. by oversimplifying and distorting the situation. J. Parker Stone 07:11, 12 May 2005 (UTC)

    So then would you say that the US never supported Noriega, because we eventually arrested him? That's absurd. Support is support. Overturning a bad policy doesn't mean you ignore the fact that the bad policy existed. --FCYTravis 00:31, 14 May 2005 (UTC)

    well i haven't seen any good info that we really supported Noriega anyhow, aside from having him as an intelligence asset at one time. J. Parker Stone 04:16, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)

    Unprotecting[edit]

    No discussion since 14 May, article protected far too long. Unprotecting. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 22:56, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)

    History and Latin America[edit]

    I think there should be less history and more Latin America. The situation in Latin America isn't really well represented. Sarcelles 02:10, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)

    U.S. English[edit]

    The article is at the moment couched in a mixture of British, U.S., and probably other forms of English. I started making it consistent, but then thought that I'd better check the edit history. The first five versions were neutral between forms, but the sixth might have been U.S. English ("traveled") — though other typos, especially missing letters, makes that judgement tentative. Still, assuming that it was U.S., I'm not qualified to bring it into consistent U.S. style; could a U.S.-English user do the honours? Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 14:57, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)

    "U.S. backing" and "School of the Americas" -- as requested by Mel[edit]

    "U.S. backing" -- I have\ discussed this on Talk:Front for the Advancement and Progress of Haiti.

    "School of the Americas" -- This comes out of nowhere and strikes me as a subjective slam on the U.S. First off, it is not "often cited." The primary group it is cited by is SOA Watch, which is not a very prominent organization. Second, as with the FRAPH characterization, its citation here is simplistic. The U.S. funds the school -- it does not control the actions of those who leave it. I can cite two examples -- Roberto D'Aubuisson and Juan Velasco Alvarado -- of people that the U.S. did not support in any way shape or form (the former was leading the far-right destabilization campaign against our ally in El Salvador, President Duarte, and the latter was a Socialist who established ties with the USSR) who took some courses or graduated from the SOA. Militaries in Latin America have indeed been involved in several dirty counterinsurgency campaigns, but this has to do with the region, not the SOA. J. Parker Stone 23:39, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

    1. "It is not often cited" isn't backed up by "the primary group it is cited by [...] is not a very prominent organisation".
      1. So, it is often cited by a site dedicated to closing it. OK, but we need to establish evidence that material there has explicitly taught thuggery and butchery as a matter of policy. Otherwise this is just an allegation anyone can make.
    2. Nothing in the article says or implies that the U.S. "controls the actions of those who leave" the School of the Americas; that isn't ground for deleting the mention of it.
      1. this refers back to my previous comments. SOA Watch criticisms draw their conclusions that certain graduates of the SOA have gone on to commit gross atrocities. the two examples I have cited above, which I am sure are not the only ones (Omar Torrijos, leftist strongman in Panama is another) demonstrate that there are graduates of the school the U.S. is not exactly on good terms with. the fact is, a lot of Hispanic military cadets have been trained there. unless it can be conclusively demonstrated that the U.S. educates these people to be thugs, as SOA Watch believes, their POV has no place.
    3. Your edits as a whole seem designed merely to remove, disarm, or play down statements about the U.S. governments dubious activities. Because your PoV seems very strong, you seem to see neutrality as PoV in the other direction. --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 09:00, 12 July 2005 (UTC)
      1. well i am an American and i don't like seeing my country slandered unfairly. i'm not blind to this country's past blunders or bad policies, but that doesn't mean they should be exaggerated and distorted. J. Parker Stone 19:22, 12 July 2005 (UTC)

    The British have trained many people at Sandhurst who have later fought against the British, or have reached positions or performed actions opposed by the British government. On your reasoning, we have to conclude that Sandhurst isn't supported by the British government... --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 11:01, 12 July 2005 (UTC)

    um, what? you just made my point for me. i never said the United States does not fund the SOA, i said that the U.S. does not control the actions of its graduates, some of whom have happened to gain prominent positions due to the historical role of the military as an institution in Latin America. J. Parker Stone 19:19, 12 July 2005 (UTC)
    But the section that you deleted didn't say that the U.S, controlled the actions of the school's "graduates"; moreover, you simply deleted the section altogether, rather than editing what you took to be incorrect. --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 22:46, 12 July 2005 (UTC)
    i think "the SOA is often cited as a training ground for assassins" pretty much implies that the school is purposely training cadets in terror tactics. it would follow that it is partially to blame for these members' actions. "control" was a bad choice of words on my part. J. Parker Stone 02:58, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
    The English doesn't have that implication (not even "pretty much"). --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 12:34, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
    Stating "the SOA is often cited as an assassin training ground" doesn't have that implication? ...um, ok. i'll continue this chat with you tomorrow, provided you stop writing one-sentence responses and actually explain how my edits are POV. J. Parker Stone 12:39, 13 July 2005 (UTC)

    Viajero: if you think Nairn's suspicions of double-play on the part of the U.S. for the sake of "corporate interests" is conclusive from his investigation, that's fine, you're entitled to your opinion. but considering the fact that the U.S. publicly supported Aristide and went through the trouble of dispatching troops for his restoration, such conclusions are not "established fact" and should not be presented as definitive. and what's with the removal of the SOA denial? it's been made, regardless of what you think of it (don't tell me now that SOA Watch material is "established fact" as well) J. Parker Stone 04:39, 13 July 2005 (UTC)

    We have been over and over this ad nauseum. It is your conclusion that US support for FRAPH was incompatible with apparent US policy. As has been repeatedly pointed out to you, this is original research. You have yet to present a shred of evidence that the findings of Nairn et al are disputed. -- Viajero | Talk 07:10, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
    it's original research to point out that the U.S. publicly supported Aristide? no, that's established. though it is POV insertion to present one journalist's findings as Gospel while completely disregarding stated administration policy (opposition to the "thugs" as Clinton put it, support for Aristide and peaceful democratic transition to the extent that we sent 20,000 troops...)
    adding to this is the fact that your version doesn't make sense. if i didn't know anything about Haiti and i read this, i'd be pretty damn confused by "organized with U.S. backing" and "Aristide was opposed by the U.S." followed up by... "he was restored to power by U.S. intervention." it only makes sense if you're acquainted with Nairn's elaborate theory of U.S. phoniness and smoke-and-mirrors, which most people aren't. J. Parker Stone 07:14, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
    It only doesn't make sense if you are naïve enough to believe that politicans never say one thing and do another. -- Viajero | Talk 07:30, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
    I can say you're naïve to believe in Nairn's far-left conspiratorial "it's all for the corporations and U.S. power" worldview, do you want to go back and forth on this? This page needs either a mediation or arbitration to put an end to this. J. Parker Stone 07:40, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
    or some kind of vote on the disputed material that involves users other than you, Mel Etitis and Davenbelle. maybe 172 could offer his input after we've finished our discussions on the other two pages. J. Parker Stone 07:44, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
    We don't need a vote or mediation. We need you either to back up your assertions with solid research or leave these pages alone. -- Viajero | Talk 08:19, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
    Nairn's proposed scenario (the U.S. engineered the coup, then had the refugee problem, then formed FRAPH to terrorize Aristide supporters so Aristide would agree to IMF structural adjustment, and then returned Aristide to power) is too complex to simplify into "the U.S. supported FRAPH." in any case, this is covered in the FRAPH article in detail, and we do not need to bring it up here. unless we repeat the Nairn findings and personal conclusions, the fact that the paragraph says the U.S. supported anti-Aristide terrorists but also restored Aristide to power is naturally confusing to people not familiar with Nairn. J. Parker Stone 09:34, 13 July 2005 (UTC)

    Yeah, right, the US is not an influent country in all of America, and it doesnt meddle with other countries internal policies, nor does it support dictators as it sees fit, to then support a coup when the dictators are not aligned anymore, and it doenst affect the economy of Latin America (let alone the world) with subsides, taxes, fees, etc and other pratices considered ilegal by the WTF, nor it is a belicose country, bent on securing oil production at whatever cost, nor is it willing to ignore the Kyoto protocol because after all, economy is more important that this planet we live in. It isnt a country that permits, and in which some even support, human rights abuse, torturing, locking people up for no reason and without the right of legal defense. They dont kill civilians (because as you know, people not born in the US are not actually people) in their warmongering, either. Thats for bad, scary and communist nations like China and Russia. Hail to the States! We all love you. If you dont like the idea of having your country "unrightfully slammed", make a plea for a Swiss citizenship or something!

    Error[edit]

    Outrageous the mistake of placing Brazil as part of America Hispaniola. Also, the amount of information avaliable for Brazil is surprisingly small; I shall add some other stuff when I get some research done.LtDoc 13:02, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

    Huh? Government forces can't be classified as terrorists ?[edit]

    The second sentence of this article says:

    They differ from terrorist groups in that they are endorsed by governments, usually in order to eliminate political opponents; some are directly created by such governments, others are supported, protected, or merely not discouraged.

    That sounds like nonsense. The whole point of using extra-judicial death squads, instead of the legal path of gathering evidence, then laying charges, then giving a suspect a fair trial is that -- those behind the death squads don't really care if their suspects are guilty.

    They are prepared to kill people merely because their background suggests they might be sympathetic to the regime's opponents. This is terrorism. The regime that uses death squads kills those suspected of opposing the regime, and those they suspect might be sympthathetic to opponents the regime. Killing innocent bystanders for giving the appearance that they might sympathize with the regime's opponent may be more effective than killing an actual opponent, because the terror induced among their neighbouring innocent bystanders by the arbitrariness will more effectively cow them then if they knew the death squads were selective, and only singled out real opponents.

    So, the assertion that regime-backed death squads differ from terrorists seems specious to me. If they use terror then they are terrorist, n'est pas? -- Geo Swan 03:34, 9 August 2005 (UTC)

    i think the point is just to separate "death squad" from rogue terrorist groups like al-Qaeda. death squads are paramilitary bands, govt.-backed or no, that assassinate opponents, whereas terrorism is associated more with bombing civilian targets and the like. J. Parker Stone 05:14, 9 August 2005 (UTC)
    Distinguish between rogue, non-regime terrorists, and terrorists with the clandestine backing of a government? Why?
    Death Squads are so clearly an instrument of terror, that I really can't see the value of making this distinction.
    Maybe you don't mean to suggest this, but you seem to be suggesting that state-backed terror is somehow not as morally reprehensible as "rogue" terrorism. You don't mean to suggest this, do you? -- Geo Swan 06:23, 9 August 2005 (UTC)
    There is also an Extrajudicial punishment article which could be combined with this one. Some mention should be made of US and Israeli (are there any other countries that do this?) policies of Extrajudicial killing.24.64.166.191 19:50, 6 October 2005 (UTC)

    If terrorists are associated with bombing of civilian targets, we should be calling the US army/air/naval forcers as the largest, most succeful terrorist party in the world.

    Yes, the achievements of the US Military state terrorists are long and bloody.

    This paragraph does not belong in this article.[edit]

    I would suggest that the phrase "[m]any Journalists have been harrassed by US military in iraq" and the containing paragraph in the introduction to this article be removed unless:

    1) It is shown that this statement in any way helps explain or illuminate the meaning of the term "Death squad."
    2) Sources are provided proving, or even detailing, this harrassment.
    3) The U.S. military personel accused of this are given a chance to defend themselves from this charge.
    4) There is provided along with the accusation definition of the word "harrassed" in this context.
    5) An explination is given as to why this paragraph belongs in the introduction to the article, when most of it (except for the accusation of harrassment) is included verbatum later, at the end of the article.

    I also suggest that the entire purpose of this paragraph, with it's unsourced accusation, being placed so out of context in this article is simply so that the United States can be the first government mentioned this list of horrors and to place the names "United States" and "Iraq" in the back of the minds of readers while they peruse the rest of the article. And the fact that the paragraph is partially repeated word for word at the end leads me to believe that the author wished to leave readers thinking, not of the horrors of death squads, but of the guilt (or implied guilt) of the USA, turning the entire article into a "man's inhumainty to man" pamphlet with a "US in Iraq" front and back cover.

    Jsminch 08:24, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

    Contras[edit]

    I have to wonder whether it is the deliberate intention of some editors to further contribute to the ill reputation of Wikipedia as a credible and encyclopedic source for information, or whether they actually believe the misinformation that they are posting.

    The Contra guerrillas in Nicaragua have also been described as death squads.[1] [8] [9]
    According to The London Times:[2]
    "The experience of the so-called “death squads” in Central America remains raw for many even now ... In the early 1980s President Reagan’s Administration funded and helped to train Nicaraguan contras based in Honduras with the aim of ousting Nicaragua’s Sandinista regime. The Contras were equipped using money from illegal American arms sales to Iran, a scandal that could have toppled Mr Reagan."
    The Contras were considered terrorists by the Sandinista government because many of their attacks targeted civilians. The Contras, who initially received financial and other forms of support from the Argentine military regime and then the U.S. CIA, mounted raids which targeted northern Nicaragua, particularly coffee plantations and farming cooperatives, frequently killing civilians, and targetting Sandinista officials for kidnapping and torture. [10] A CIA training manual instructed the Contras, under the heading "Selective Use of Violence", to "neutralise carefully selected and planned targets such as court judges, police or state security officials, etc." [11]
    • The Washington Post article deals with a subject very distinct from the Nicaraguan Contras that is actually relevant to this article, yet goes unmentioned here in favor of an uninformed smear. Namely, this piece is recounting the "contra" "death squad" activities of groups such as the Honduran ELACH (Honduran Anti-Communist Liberation Army), which doesn't even have a Wikipedia article, rather than the activities of a paramilitary force in working to overthrow the regime next door.
    • "Consortium News" is the creation of Robert Parry, who has a long and partisan history of authorship critical of the Contras and US foreign policy. In other words, he has an interest in using highly colorful language and can be found making a number of accusations to the disrepute of this organization. The only relevant sentence of this particular article is his assertion that, "[b]efitting their Argentine trainers, the contras often acted more like a death squad than an army." This noncommittal and passive phrase isn't even an instance of the Contras being "described" as such.
    • Democracy Now is an ideologically far left organization that supports fellow leftists in Latin America and has no editorial principles which prohibit the usage of emotive terminology in its attacks on organizations it dislikes. Its language is irrelevant and non-notable.
    • The Times quote is a complete butchery of the language in the article, ripping two separate quotes from their context in order to effect an impression of an argument that the article does not give. Here is the relevant selection in full, with the quoted passages highlighted in bold to emphasize the distance and distortion:
      The experience of the so-called “death squads” in Central America remains raw for many even now and helped to sully the image of the United States in the region.
      Then, the Reagan Administration funded and trained teams of nationalist forces to neutralise Salvadorean rebel leaders and sympathisers. Supporters credit the policy with calming the insurgency, although it left a bitter legacy and stirred anti-American sentiment.
      John Negroponte, the US Ambassador in Baghdad, had a front-row seat at the time as Ambassador to Honduras from 1981-85.
      Death squads were a brutal feature of Latin American politics of the time. In Argentina in the 1970s and Guatemala in the 1980s, soldiers wore uniform by day but used unmarked cars by night to kidnap and kill those hostile to the regime or their suspected sympathisers.
      In the early 1980s President Reagan’s Administration funded and helped to train Nicaraguan contras based in Honduras with the aim of ousting Nicaragua’s Sandinista regime. The Contras were equipped using money from illegal American arms sales to Iran, a scandal that could have toppled Mr Reagan.
      It was in El Salvador that the United States trained small units of local forces specifically to target rebels.
    • Not only is the Times article itself noncommittal on the relevance of the terminology of ("so-called") "death squads", but in labeling groups as much it speaks quite directly of (unnamed) organizations in Argentina, Guatemala, and El Salvador (under rightist regimes) which were the targets of such opprobrium for their brutal tactics "against left-wing guerrillas". It most emphatically does not state this of the Nicaraguan Contras.
    • That the Contras were "considered terrorist" by the Sandinistas is self-evident, and not notable here. Every junta which faces rebellion considers their opponents to be terrorist, whether the claim has validity or not. This is not an article about the perceptions of Daniel Ortega, nor is it about terrorism.
    • The cited publications actually make an argument for active discrimination in the selection of targets and methods in the Contras' use of force, given that "explicit terrorism" (indiscriminate killing) is discouraged and instead it is argued that they should focus on those figures most essential to the survival of the oppressive state apparatus, e.g. "court judges, police or state security officials". You do realize that there is a world of distinction between what is "civilian" and what is a legitimate target of warfare, correct? For instance, DOD Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is a civilian leader of military and national security operations but, from the perspective of a neutral observer, is a legitimate target in any war campaign. This is the view shared by guerrilla groups of all political leanings, though they do not always live up to this standard of scrutiny in methods. However, this article does not deal with human rights abuses, indiscriminate attacks, or even terrorism, broadly. It deals with death squads.
    • "Death squads", as (correctly) identified by this article, are organizations which are allied or are identified as organizations semi-independent of the state apparatus (but usually closely tied to it) which have the purpose of putting down resistance and disruption of the existing sociopolitical order. That is why, despite the inappropriateness of the title itself, there is a focus on organizations such as those who operated in Argentina, El Salvador, and Guatemala that targeted for kidnapping and assassination those who supported rebel groups. The Contras were themselves actively in rebellion against the Nicaraguan status quo. This is why you will not see many reference from credible and reputable publications to the Contras as being "death squads": because it is a political slur more than twice removed from the initial meaning for political purposes and it lacks any real validity. --TJive 14:25, 29 June 2006 (UTC)


    I assume that you're trying to improve the Wikipedia and you should do the same about your fellow editors.
    Rejecting Goodman and Parry as sources on the basis of their assumed political views is not legitimate. Both are widely recognized, award-winning journalists. Their use of the term "death squad" in relation to the Contras is a point of view that ought to be included in this article, regardless of your personal definition of the term. Nareek 15:10, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
    That they are "award-winning journalists" does not mean that their polemical observations are of sufficient merit to warrant a tendentious entry to an ostensibly encyclopedic article. This is true of Parry, who is not even cited as saying what is effectively attributed to him, but is even more true for Goodman, who does not have relevant academic credentials to make such determinations and merely has the benefit of holding extreme opinions on US foreign policy that some people share from mutual passions.
    That may befit self-published screeds and "news"-casts but not an encyclopedia.
    As for a "personal definition", I didn't define the parameters of this term for the article. That it bolsters the arguments I gave in the first place is no fault of my own. --TJive 15:20, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
      • Hmm. Maybe you missed part of the article?
      • Did you read this paragraph?
        "A 1994 report by Oscar Valladares, a lawyer appointed by the Honduran parliament to investigate human rights abuse, blamed the Honduran army and the contras for 174 disappearances and kidnappings in the 1980s. Most of the incidents took place before the March 1984 ouster of Alvarez as armed forces chief."
      • Did you read this paragraph?
        "The disappearances continued after Negroponte became ambassador. The Valladares report cites 17 disappearances and kidnappings in 1982, 20 in 1983 and 18 in 1984. There were 26 disappearances in 1985, but they were mainly the work of the contras, rather than Honduran security forces, the report says. The kidnapped included trade union activists, journalists and professors opposed to the military authorities."
      • So, I can't agree with you that that Wapo article didn't address the contras record of assassination. -- Geo Swan 18:42, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
    Please stop trying to make this article conform to your personal political views. Your dismissal of sources based on your disagreement with their politics is POV and is not allowable. WP is intended to reflect the range of viewpoints that exist on a given subject, not to limit itself to one "objective" perspective. Both Parry and Goodman are acclaimed journalists with extensive experience reporting from Central America, and are certainly experts in this context on the subject at hand. Nareek 17:28, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

    Since when is any "death squad" against the government? If I pulled a rightist source out of the hat which said the Viet Cong was a death squad, would that count? Of course not. They were trying to change the status quo. CJK 23:58, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

    First of all, please stop parsing my comments. It makes following the conversation much more difficult than it has to be.
    It is hard to take the comments here seriously when there is an obvious misrepresentation of nearly every underlying source that has been thrown out, and when there is a failure to actually contemplate the points that I made. It is my experience that these edit wars devolve hard and fast into pissing contests and reverts for their own sake. I would strongly suggest to the other editors that they refrain from doing this any further as it accomplishes nothing, and for no real reason.
    With regards to the Washington Post story, as I already outlined, the term "contra" is being used as shorthand for native anti-communist groups such as ELACH and Battalion 3-16, not the Nicaraguan Contras which the material here (here on this article and talk space) is referring to. I would be the first to admit that the Post's writing is poor and leads to an easy conflation of the issues, but it is not actually evidence of anything that editors here are trying to assert. The Contras were being sheltered and trained in Honduras for their operations in Nicaragua; this much is undisputed. What the article is concerned with is Negroponte's account of the human rights record of the country during his term, and specifically his insistence that "military-backed death squads did not operate in Honduras while he was ambassador". His actions were intended to gloss over the Honduran regime's record so that aid would continue, not to deny that the strategic reality that the country was being used as a base for the conflict next door. Were that the case, his assertions would not merely be tendentious but laughable, as is the misinterpretation of this piece.
    I am not editing anything to "conform" to my views; I am editing to make this article a more credible and factually accurate piece rather than a political soapbox and link repository. The very definition of "death squad" given here precludes the inclusion of rebel groups such as the Contras; this has somehow escaped everyone's attention, even when I explicitly mentioned this fact earlier. The attempted "sourcing" is poor. I've explained already how Parry is also misrepresented but that matter is almost besides the point. Latin American politics is a very heated subject whose treatment sometimes involves the use of political shorthands by ideological partisans (or even lazy newspaper editors). This has meant that terms like "death squad" get wrenched from their original context to ascribe negative emotive connotations to groups which are disliked by particular authors. This observation is not "POV" and recognizing this fact is not "POV"; it is an attempt to clarify and account for what are and what are not reliable sources on events, organizations, and their significance. Goodman's slurs do not interest me; nor do three dozen other attack pieces that could readily be culled, if one was so inclined as to use the standard of the mere mention of this term by extremely biased sources as notable reasons for its inclusion in what is supposed to be an encyclopedic article.
    The objections here did not even stand up to cursory scrutiny from the start and do not deserve to become obstinate faced by their own irrelevancy. Please consider discontinuing further reverts. Thanks. --TJive 07:57, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
    What constitutes a "death squad" is not like what the atomic number of Strontium is--it's defined not by the laws of physics but by usage. Robert Parry and Amy Goodman are two of the most important journalists to have covered the violence in Latin America, and with all due respect their definition of what a death squad is and is not ought to matter more to us than whichever random editor wrote the definition for this article.
    I raise the question of your POV because you seem bent on excluding people as relevant sources based on your objection to their politics. That is totally contrary to the spirit of the WP:NPOV rule. The point is not to exclude people who "we" think have a point of view--since everyone has a point of view--the point is to try not to allow our points of view to affect whose points of view we include as relevant. I have to say I think you're failing that challenge. Nareek 18:11, 30 June 2006 (UTC)


    Clean Up[edit]

    I have cleaned up the article, organized it, and moved older historical material to it's own page. More current information such as organization, strengths, and weaknesses have also been added. This version includes much of the non-historical text from the previous version. This version also has less national and political material which may help it to be more neutral in tone.

    Please revert it if most of you find it to be largely unacceptable. Neutralaccounting 05:00, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

    I had intended to do syntax and grammar clean up for this article. Information that is questionable is easier to deal with when the content is clearly expressed. I do not think any amount of style editing will help this article. The article would only benefit with a complete rewrite. The current state of this article is the epitome of fail.

    Too many sub-divisions, not enough content[edit]

    This article is mostly psuedo-intellectual masturbation at the moment. It should really be condensed and turned into a stub even if some credible information other than the speculation of a (bunch of) paramilitary hobbyist(s) can't be injected into it. 129.107.240.1 15:28, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

    I agree. Badly written, totally unreferenced, POV rubbish. Phonemonkey 10:29, 28 November 2006 (UTC)


    The most significant death squads today are in Iraq[edit]

    See the following ground breaking report by Deborah Davies for the Channel 4 program 'Dispatches': "Over the last eighteen months these commandos - who are almost exclusively Shia Muslims - have been implicated in rounding up and killing thousands of ordinary Sunni civilians": [12] and: [13] It's also worth reading this: [14] and this from the boston globe on government death squads killing more people than insurgent bombs: [15] Aaliyah Stevens 13:00, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

    copy from talk:Death squad history[edit]

    I merged and redirect Death squad history here since it was nearly identical (I did a diff on the text and copied over blocks that were different). Now I'm copying from the talk page: RJFJR 20:12, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

    "The American forces that occupied the country provided both desperately needed protection for the Sunni minority as well as paradoxically occasionally engaging in death squad like behavior through the use of aerial bombing, shooting suspicious commuters 10 , and occasional massacre.

    While most of what atrocities they have committed have been passed over, the over-all affect is a accumulation of a litany of abuses committed by the occupation and it's supported government."

    This section seems blatantly biased, I doubt even the most vehement of detractors of American occupation would accuse them of Death squad activities. The source seems only mildly related to the statement it's supposed to support, and the second paragraph is poorly written.

    See some human rights sites, like Amnesty International before you slam your billy club on to an Iraqi's head next time!--86.29.245.189 04:34, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

    Why's a Billy club called a 'Billy club'?--86.29.251.10 08:05, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

    Iran - NPOV[edit]

    The entry for Iran refers to the Shah's regime as "relatively moderate". This statement lacks NPOV.

    The Khomanie was resposible for sending agents in to Iraqi Kurdistan to kill local Sunni leaders in the 1980s.--86.29.251.10 08:08, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

    I suggestion[edit]

    To remove unnecessary edits on a major article about death squads, I propose to divide this into number of articles. They are the main article called death squads and another article called List of death squads by country and another series on death squads on each country, that is notable all linked by a Death squad category RaveenS 21:44, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

    merge tag to Extrajudicial killings[edit]

    Merge in the extrajudicial killings page to?--86.29.245.189 04:38, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

    The extrajudicial killings page also has a merge suggestion, except it's to be merged into this article. Or another one. I say keep this article as is, since it has a lot more content than extrajudicial killings does, although it could use a lot of cleanup. --clpo13 04:46, 7 July 2007 (UTC)
    Not just no, but heck no, this article has a long pedigree worked on by multiple editors. Extrajudicial killings is a two-day old article where they can't even use a spellchecker. That would poison the well. No with extreme prejudice". Chris 05:55, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

    The page has now been wiped out and blanked by a previouse user. It is no longer up for merging--86.29.252.16 10:31, 7 July 2007 (UTC) It may have been a joke page, ridiculing such killings?!--86.29.245.48 01:00, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

    Sources[edit]

    We nead some more sources!--86.29.251.10 08:03, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

    Agreed. I take responsibility for that. Neutralaccounting 00:10, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

    First Paragraph Changed[edit]

    This is my first edit since I wrote much of the body of the article and moved much of the historical data to its own section. I've emphasized the the nature of men to want to kill other men (thanatos?) especially their desire to kill those who can't kill them back (death squad) rather then the abstract political labels that are plastered over accounts of their activity. Neutralaccounting 00:10, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

    I think some of that stuff should definitely be sourced, as otherwise it looks like original research or speculation. PubliusFL 13:49, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

    Original research[edit]

    This article is a long list of acts of political violence, often confused with "death squads". Death squads are, in the strict sense of the term, military or paramilitary groups which attack civilians. To speak about "death squads" in the 16th century is a total anachronism. Tazmaniacs 20:22, 13 August 2007 (UTC)


    Korea[edit]

    I never knew that only South Korea ever used death squads, you learn something new every day. 58.107.95.126 12:27, 30 August 2007 (UTC)


    UK POV[edit]

    The UK section seems very bias on both sides. I don't know much about the topic so can someone else re-write the whole section. Forgot to sig.64.203.19.96 (talk) 11:56, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

    Whilst the black and tans were a pretty reprehensible group, I don't think they were actually formed as death squads, rather as somewhat brutal paramilitary groups. Separately, although they may have have been fairly liberal with the use of firearms, to describe them as trigger happy drunks is not really meeting the NPOV language criteria. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 217.43.135.63 (talk) 22:31, 28 March 2008 (UTC) ¿? And what about gangs? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 208.1.190.120 (talk) 01:48, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

    The article is in my view extremely POV, and very biased against the UK. The Black and Tans and the Auxiliary Division could not by any stretch of the imagination be called death squads.124.197.15.138 (talk) 01:33, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

    Drunk Death Squads[edit]

    -the UK section refers to England using "drunk and trigger happy veterns of the first world war" being employed as death squads during the irish war for independence which is uncited and obviously biased. - also in the USA section it talks about the KKK using death squads but would they be considered death squads? they were not sponsored by any form of government or even a political party for that matter. -also shouldnt without a citation be removed? -im new to wiki editing so any contructive criticism is welcome. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 98.196.78.26 (talk) 05:20, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

    Um, better brush up on your homework regarding the history of the KKK. Right after the Civil War, they were strongly supported by Southern Democrats (forerunners of today's "Blue Dogs" who controlled the local and state governments before and after the carpetbaggers; then, in its second incarnation, after the turn of the century through the 1920s, it included government officials of BOTH parties, nationwide, and in the North & West it was most often Republicans. I quote from the Wikipedia article on KKK:

    Unlike its predecessor, which had been an exclusively partisan Democratic organization, the second Klan was courted by both Republicans and Democrats in the Midwest, and endorsed candidates from either party that supported its goals; Prohibition in particular helped the Klan and the Republicans to make common cause in the North. In the South, however, the Republican party was powerless; thus, the southern Klan remained Democratic, closely allied with Democratic police, sheriffs, and other functionaries of local government.

    What about the Armenian Genocide Shouldn't the actions of Ottoman Turkey count as a death squad —Preceding unsigned comment added by 196.41.124.8 (talk) 02:23, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

    Sentence needs fixing[edit]

    "Death squads may terrorist groups in that..." Death squads may be terrorist groups in that? Death squads may not be terrorist groups in that? I am not entirely sure what this is supposed to be saying, so could someone who is please fix this--Tangent747 (talk) 17:10, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

    Unreferenced[edit]

    The article was marked as unreferenced as far ago as in May 2008 so per verifiability all unreferenced content must be cleaned up. Perhaps someone will then add sources.Luis Napoles (talk) 02:00, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

    Luis, it is understood that all information should ideally be referenced - and it is unfortunate that much of this article is not (perhaps you could add some ref's as well). However, what you have done is ---> "selectively" remove certain passages (i.e. those dealing with right-wing or American governments whose actions your edits clearly show you support) like Pinochet's Argentina, 1960's Bolivia, Anti-FARC Colombia, Contra Guatemala & Apartheid South Africa, & any which may have utilized U.S. support (i.e. Haiti or Vietnam), while leaving all the other unreferenced passages which conform to your WP:POV. For a glaring example of this, you have transparently removed the unref'd passage about U.S. kidnappings and murder in 1960's Vietnam, but kept the unref'd passage right after it discussing the same actions by their North Vietnamese opponents. Such glaring inconsistency is disingenuous at the least and most likely much worse (as it follows your usual pattern). If you question the veracity of a certain claim then you should tag it as "dubious", however the mere fact that a ref is not located after a passage, does not grant an editor carte blanche ability to selectively and inconsistently chop up an article based off of their own personal bias. Such continued actions are going to result in another request for administrative oversight on your behavior (as occurred yesterday when someone else reported you to ANI).   Redthoreau (talk)RT 03:42, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
    You are wrong, claims should not be "ideally be referenced", they must be referenced. A core policy WP:BURDEN explicity states that the burden of evidence lies with the editor who adds or restores material. Attacks on other editors, which you seem seem to favor over adding references, do not make the content any more referenced.Luis Napoles (talk) 10:49, 8 May 2009 (UTC)


    The big fix[edit]

    I'm trying to sort it out over the next week or so.--86.25.11.99 (talk) 16:40, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

    It's all done!--86.25.11.99 (talk) 18:41, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

    In US[edit]

    CIA is a prime example of a death squad. they are worse than nazi's —Preceding unsigned comment added by 131.215.220.164 (talk) 03:04, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

    Citation would be lovely if you had any. Otherwise, comment is completely unfounded and unnecessary.--75.77.12.152 (talk) 22:11, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

    The CIA is an intelligence organization, and hardly fits the criteria presented in the article for inclusion as an example of a death squad. The inclusion of the U.S. under "Recent Use" of the term Death Squad is supported by an article that does not at all support such a conclusion. 99.231.128.155 (talk) 21:06, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

    Accuracy of quote "Being a U.S. citizen will not spare an American from getting assassinated by military or intelligence operatives"[edit]

    Since this same quote exists on Dennis_C._Blair, please see the discussion there: Talk:Dennis_C._Blair#Accuracy_of_quote_.22Being_a_U.S._citizen_will_not_spare_an_American_from_getting_assassinated_by_military_or_intelligence_operatives.22

    Surlyhacker (talk) 22:04, 12 April 2010 (UTC)

    I concur with your research, and I have corrected the quote. --NilsTycho (talk) 22:59, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

    Cnn death squad, cia tools[edit]

    I would not say that 100%, one user replied: CNN is not reference,because it is tool in american policy and CIA, it could be now and then but whnever that idiot christine shows some cnn special it does not get more stupid, like special on genocides, one sided no doubt cia/usa gove involvement to look innocent lol, showing same archived crap all the time! Like that bosnian skeleton prisoner, as if other sides did not have em!

    Ivory Coast[edit]

    Let's be fair here. To say that Death Squads are "active" in Ivory Coast and then give links to articles that invariably condemn the same person without proofs is irresponsible. For example, this link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_Squads#cite_note-washingtonpost.com-19 leads to an article talking about "allegations", no proofs. I am not saying that people were not killed during the civil war. I am saying, let's have proofs before pointing fingers. Most of the links lewad to articles accusing the Leader of the FPI group at the Ivory Coast National Assembly, Simone Ehivet Gbagbo, to organise killing squads. Where are the proofs? Most articles present Simone Gbagbo as influencing the politics of her husband President Laurent Gbagbo. True. She is leader of his political party group at the National Assembly. She was not appointed by him. She was actually elected before the FPI, won the 2000 elections against a military dictator, General Guei Robert. That guy had killing squads! What are we talking about here... —Preceding unsigned comment added by Gbanani77 (talkcontribs) 19:16, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

    syria[edit]

    u.s sponsoring death squads in syria now — Preceding unsigned comment added by 987987987D (talkcontribs) 17:25, 9 September 2011 (UTC)

    This fact has been reported on different networks and gives a better example of who directs, funds, trains, etc. death squads in our modern world and why. It is critical info and its omission jeopardizes the overall value of this article.

    Cheryl Hugle (talk) 09:47, 2 November 2012 (UTC) Cheryl Hugle

    The report linked below gives many details of death squad operations particularly in Syria but also elsewhere. It needs to be watched by anyone editing here because this article has a very definite bias...

    and fails to note the HUGE role of NATO operations in the funding, training, and directing of death squads operating from Latin America to the Middle East. Though this piece is focused primarily on Syria, the commentator gives a good historical introduction to the operations of death squads elsewhere.

    http://tarpley.net/2011/11/27/the-anatomy-of-the-nato-cia-destabilization-of-syria/

    I hope after watching, editors of this article will undertake some much needed corrections to the biases promoted in this article. Cheryl Hugle (talk) 05:00, 12 December 2012 (UTC) Cheryl Hugle

    Wrong examples[edit]

    Nguyễn Văn Lém (referred to as Captain Bay Lop) (died 1 February 1968 in Saigon) was a member of the Viet Cong who was summarily executed in Saigon during the Tet Offensive. The picture of his death would became one of many an anti-Vietnam War icons in the Western World.[36]

    This is not a death squad; this execution was made by a member of the police working in that condition and in an open way.

    Bolivia
    Similarly to Tupac Amaru's rebellion, Tupac Katari lead similar rebellion against the oppressive Spanish regime in the nations capital of La Paz, Bolivia. Tupac Katari was able to rally up 40,000 indigenous Aymara to lay siege to the city of La Paz which was built in place of the Aymara city of Chuqiago Marka. The siege failed and resulted in thousands of lost lives and millions of spirits crushed. Tupac Katari was later captured and killed by the Spanish government.

    This does not seem to have anything to do with the concept of "death squad"

    Cambodia
    Main article: Khmer Rouge
    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.[75] The rebels, led by Bun Yom, rescued many thousands of Cambodian people. The rebels also captured thousands of Khmer Rouge soldiers, which they traded to the Thai government for food and munitions.[76]

    The Khmer Rouge massacres were made in a open way, not by semi-secret groups working outside the law

    Vietnam
    The South Vietnamese warlords regularly ordered their soldiers to 'punish' the villages if they did something that was undesirable to them.

    I never heard of "warlords" in south Vietnam; but, even if this is true, i am unsuer if this count as "death squad" (unless we adopt a definition of death squad so broad that any repressive government forces counts as "death squad")

    Yugoslavia
    Main article: Srebrenica Massacre
    The Srebrenica Massacre, also known as the Srebrenica Genocide,[108][109][110][111] was the July 1995 killing of an estimated 8,000 Bosniak men and boys, as well as the ethnic cleansing of 25,000–30,000 refugees in the area of Srebrenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina, by units of the Army of Republika Srpska (VRS) under the command of General Ratko Mladić during the Bosnian War. In addition to the VRS, a paramilitary unit from Serbia known as the Scorpions participated in the massacre.[112][113]
    In Potočari, some of the executions were carried out at night under arc lights, and industrial bulldozers then pushed the bodies into mass graves.[114] 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.[114]
    The Srebrenica massacre is the largest mass murder in Europe since World War II.[115] In 2004, in a unanimous ruling on the "Prosecutor v. Krstić" case, the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) located in The Hague ruled that the Srebrenica massacre was genocide.[116]

    Again, I think that this is not a "death squad" in action - it is a massacre by an organized military force--81.84.51.200 (talk) 16:30, 25 April 2012 (UTC)

    Expansion[edit]

    There is alot of details regarding death squads in Iraq and Latin America. However there really needs to be much more information in places where Death Sqaads or general mass murder was more prominent but highly under reported compared to the previous examples. Countries where there need to be expansion would be regarding:

    Mengistu during red terror (500,000 dead)

    MPLA in Angola (70,000+ dead)

    Mao, Lenin and Stalin's regimes (Millions dead)

    Vietcong, North Vietnamese and Pathet Lao terror (1,000,000+)

    FLN in Algeria (100,000+)

    Other African countries such as both Congos, Rwanda, Burundi, Rwanda, Sudan, Somalia, Chad and Mozambique — Preceding unsigned comment added by 89.168.119.251 (talk) 14:23, 4 July 2012 (UTC)

    Red Guards[edit]

    I removed the section on the Red Guards, as they're not commonly - if ever - described as "death squads", even by sources that condemn their actions (of which there are many). The citation was to a general work that is not specifically about China, let alone the Cultural Revolution. Moreover, I couldn't find the term "death squad" in the book cited (although I may have missed it). Unless the Red Guards are generally thought to be death squads in the scholarly literature, then I don't think it is right to include them here. Despite their uniforms, they weren't a paramilitary outfit and they didn't have orders. Describing them as death squads I think borders on original research (WP:NOR). I know edits regarding the PRC are always controversial, so I've tried to explain myself in as neutral terms as possible here. Retinalsummer (talk) 01:25, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

    Extremely biased article[edit]

    I am amazed reading this article. So much has been published regarding US and NATO funding of death squads. Recently, death squads tied to the US and its allies including Saudi Arabia created crisis in Syria pretty much single handedly. This fact has been reported by numbers of news outlets

    This article comes nowhere close to helping anyone grasp why death squads come into being and why their majority stakeholders fund, arm, train and direct them.

    Prose and supporting source selections are highly biased. This article needs balance.

    Cheryl Hugle (talk) 09:39, 2 November 2012 (UTC) Cheryl Hugle

    Comment from an anonymous reader of Wikipedia[edit]

    The headings with the country flags look very professional, and impressed me actually, it should be used on more pages when possible. 99.58.9.214 (talk) 02:15, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
    Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).