Indonesia Executes Eight People for Drug Crimes


The Indonesian President has cracked down on drug traffickers in the past few months. In January, a round of executions led to both Brazil and the Netherlands recalling their ambassadors to Indonesia. Australia recently joined the list of countries who have recalled envoys due to drug-related executions.

Jack Scott, Staff Writer

The Indonesian government executed eight convicted drug traffickers via firing line on 29 April. Of the eight, only one of those executed was Indonesian. Four Nigerians, two Australians, and a Brazilian made up the other seven executed for drug smuggling crimes. The Brazilian, Rodrigo Gularte, was reportedly mentally ill and was unaware of his execution until his final moments. Another prisoner, a Philippine woman named Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso, was set to be executed alongside the other eight convicted drug traffickers. However, her execution was delayed at the last minute. The Australian government has recalled its ambassador to Indonesia in response to the executions of two Australian nationals: Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran. Chan and Sukumaran were arrested in Bali in 2005 for attempting to smuggle heroin from the island of Bali in Indonesia to Australia.

Indonesia has some of the toughest drug laws in the world. Often, drug smugglers will receive long prison sentences or even death. The Indonesian government notifies prisoners of their executions only 72 hours beforehand. President Joko Widodo has stated that he will not grant clemency to convicted drug traffickers. Indonesia ended a moratorium on capital punishment in 2013, and has since begun executing criminals again, many of them for drug-related crimes.