Santa Cruz Cemetery

Cemetery in Dili

Image by Dawn Delaney Getty Images

On 12 November 1991 Indonesian soldiers fired on a peaceful memorial procession for Sebastião Gomes from Motael Church to Santa Cruz Cemetery; Gomes was an independence supporter who was shot by Indonesian police. More than 250 civilians (mostly students) died. British journalist Max Stahl filmed the bloody attack and the smuggled footage was beamed around the world, empowering the nation's independence struggle.

Nearly every inch of the cemetery is occupied by elaborate, pasted-hued gravestones. Join Dili History Tours to help locate significant graves, including that of Sebastião Gomes.


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