« Ils ont reçu une balle dans la tête » : La morgue révèle la vérité sur la « guerre à la drogue » menée par Rodrigo Duterte

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« Ils ont reçu une balle dans la tête » : La morgue révèle la vérité sur la « guerre à la drogue » menée par Rodrigo Duterte

29 mars 2023
Rebecca Ratcliffe
The Guardian

Les restes exhumés de jeunes Philippins confirment que les meurtres généralisés faisaient partie de la violente campagne d'assassinats menée par Duterte au nom du contrôle des drogues. Pour en savoir plus, en anglais, veuillez lire les informations ci-dessous.

Fortun, one of only two forensic pathologists in the country, has now spent more than 18 months examining the exhumed remains of dozens of victims of the so-called “war on drugs”, revealing serious irregularities in how their postmortems were performed – including multiple death certificates that wrongly attributed fatalities to natural causes.

Most recently, her findings have raised questions about examinations carried out on the body of Kian delos Santos, a 17-year-old boy whose death at the height of the shootings provoked global outrage.

“We have very weak institutions, unqualified people. We have a law that’s so ancient. And here comes a madman, ascending to the top as president, and I think he just took advantage,” she says.

Kian delos Santos was found dead, bent in a foetal position, in a dark alley in Caloocan, Metropolitan Manila, in 2017, with a gun in his left hand. Police argued they killed him in self-defence. Yet his family pointed out that he was right-handed. CCTV footage showed police dragging a male matching Delos Santos’s description towards the spot where he was killed. His is the only known case where police have been convicted of murder. Despite intense scrutiny at the time of his death, examinations by both the Philippine National Police and the Public Attorney’s Office failed to spot a bullet that was still lodged in his neck, according to Fortun’s findings. “It’s evidence that has been missed,” she says.

According to government figures, officers killed 6,252 people during anti-drug operations from 1 July 2016 to 31 May 2022. Fortun wonders if it will ever be possible to accurately calculate how many were killed. “Who is keeping count?” she asks. “What about the [victims] who were never recovered? Bodies thrown into rivers, buried in some clandestine grave?” Even less is known about killings outside Metro Manila.