Đorđe Božović

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Đorđe Božović
Djordje Bozovic Giska - wiki photo.jpg
Nickname(s) Giška
Born (1955-09-16)16 September 1955
Peć, FPR Yugoslavia
Died 15 September 1991(1991-09-15) (aged 35)
Gospić, SFR Yugoslavia
Buried at Centralno groblje, Voždovac
Allegiance Serbia Serbia
Years of service 1991
Rank Commander
Unit Serbian Guard
Battles/wars Yugoslav wars
Battle of Gospić

Đorđe "Giška" Božović (Serbian: Ђорђе Божовић Гишка; 16 September 1955 – 15 September 1991) was a Serbian gangster as well as paramilitary commander during the Yugoslav Wars.[1]

Early life[edit]

Božović was born Đorđe Mićković on 16 September 1955 in Peć to father Gavro Mićković from Kuči clan and mother Milena. His father Gavro was involved with underworld activity and after killing a German man in Cologne, the family decided to change their surname to Božović after Gavro's father and Đorđe's grandfather Božo. Together with his mother and younger sister Slavica, young Đorđe lived in Inđija until 1964. That is when his father got murdered and the family moved to Belgrade, settling in Voždovac neighbourhood.

The arrival to Voždovac shaped the rest of 8-year-old Đorđe's life. Growing up in a neighbourhood full of poor working class families like his own, he became lifelong friends with Branislav "Beli" Matić who got him into boxing at Radnički boxing club. Proficient at street fighting, Đorđe already had run-ins with the police in his preteen years. The nickname "Giska" was given to him due to the strong resemblance between himself and a bear at the Belgrade zoo at that time named "Giska". "Giska's" original nickname was "Debeli" or "Fatso" due to his chubby size as a kid growing up. He was a constant victim of taunting and bullying by older children, thus forcing him to fight back, and earn his respect at the street level'. At age thirteen, he illegally crossed the border into Italy just to show that he can. Upon coming back he befriended Boris Petkov and Ranko Rubežić and together with Beli, the foursome formed a basis for the mafia clan originating in the neighbourhood.

Criminal career[edit]

Giška had close ties to the Serbian mafia (he was friends with Ljuba Zemunac) and Montenegrin mafia in his youth where he reached the rank of Boss.

Giška's relationship with other prominent members of the Belgrade underworld was marked by alternating periods of close friendship and vicious feuding, often with deadly consequences.

In the late 1980s, together with gangster Željko "Arkan" Ražnatović and painter Dragan "Tapi" Malešević, Giška ran a nightclub called Amadeus located in the Belgrade neighbourhood of Tašmajdan. According to security operative Boža Spasić, they were allowed to open the club with the blessing of Yugoslav State Security (UDBA) as a reward of sorts for Giška's and Arkan's service to UDBA over the years, however, after discovering that in addition to regular activities the club is also being used for drug running, UDBA shut it down.[2]

Serbian Guard[edit]

Božović formed the Serbian Guard paramilitary force along with Serbian Renewal Movement (SPO) leader Vuk Drašković, his wife Danica Drašković and Branislav "Beli" Matić.[3]

The paramilitary unit's training camp was located near Bor Lake in SR Serbia, SFR Yugoslavia.[3] It participated in clashes on the territory of SR Croatia near the town of Gospić.[4] Elements of the unit also participated in the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.[5] Božović was the unit's first commander, but was killed in action near Gospić.[6] Some people have alleged that Božović's death was an act of "friendly fire" orchestrated either by Zdravko Tolimir or the Republic of Serbian Krajina's government.[7] The unit's chief financier Branislav Matić was gunned down in August 1991 in Belgrade.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Giška i gardisti zalud izginuli, Glas javnosti, August 1, 1999
  2. ^ ORGANIZOVNI KRIMINAL I DRŽAVA (3) Kriminalci u obračunu sa političkim emigrantima i špijunima;Blic, 28 November 2003
  3. ^ a b Serbian Guard, party army of the SPO, Danas
  4. ^ Zoran Kusovac. "Serbia's Inadequate Opposition". Archived from the original on 2005-03-06. the establishment of the SPO’s own paramilitary unit — the Serbian Guards (Srpska Garda), which attacked the Croatian town of Gospic in 1991 
  5. ^ Criminal: Death of Branko Lainovic
  6. ^ Belgrade underground, Vreme
  7. ^ Giška and guards died for nothing, Glas javnosti
  8. ^ Target of Unknown Assassins