Declassified files have exposed just how much the US knew about and supported the massacre of millions of Indonesians in the 1965 anti-communist purges.
The non-governmental National Security Archive research group published 39 documents on Tuesday, out of thousands of pages of newly declassified files from the US embassy in Jakarta. They cover the period from 1963-66, documenting official knowledge and approval of the army’s death-squad operations to wipe out the three million-strong Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI) and its supporters.
Up to three million people were rounded up across the country, executed and dumped in mass graves. The files show that the US provided the Indonesian army with lists of senior communist party officials, equipment and money during the massacres. The purges led to the overthrow of communist-backed nationalist president Sukarno and the 31-year dictatorship of General Suharto.