Biography of Zeljko o "Arkan" Raznatovic (1953-2000)

Serbian paramilitary leader, born in Slovenia in 1953 and died in Belgrade, as a result of a shootout, on January 15, 2000. Better known by the nickname of Arkan, he/she was one of the main culprits of the atrocious genocide perpetrated by Serbian fundamentalism in the Balkan civil conflicts that ravaged the former Yugoslavia between 1989 and 1999. During this period of time, the international community did not wonder to the genocidal and bloody actions committed by who occupies a prominent place in the long list of wild criminals lighting in the 20th century.

An offender in the Yugoslav secret service

Little is known data of his childhood, his transfer from his native Slovenia towards Belgrade, or any another track that defines the origins of criminal activity. The case is that, between 1975 and 1985, the name of Zeljko Raznatovic reposed in the archives of the Interpol European as the main and most dangerous Yugoslav mafia leader. In this sense, the bank robberies hand Navy, extortion and blackmail, tax evasion and money-laundering by drug trafficking and prostitution were their more aquilatadas patterns of behaviour, which led him to a long pilgrimage through different European prisons, mainly in Sweden and Germany. Also at that time they began to circulate news about his wrathful character, their bloody punishments and his excessive fondness for expensive pleasures. Before 1980, it had contracted two marriages and had, between legitimate and illegitimate, around eight children. However, the beginning of the collapse of Tito Yugoslavia produced the beneficial effects: its inflexible and intolerant character exalted you as the leader of the extreme right of Belgrade, especially in those circles where it would begin to forge Yugoslav genocide.

Therefore, it not missed too much that, in 1982, Raznatovic joins in the secret service of Yugoslavia, led by the Serbian radicalism, where he/she began to serve first "" killing Yugoslav dissidents throughout Europe, mainly in Germany. In addition, its never abandoned connections with the mafia, Yugoslav and European, made him almost a hero, since, through smuggling, said the supply of raw materials at the beginning of international embargoes on Yugoslavia. Towards 1988 joined with Slobodan Milosevic, future President of the counterpoints Yugoslavia, with a terrifying Pact: recruit, train, and keep a few paramilitary troops (chetniks), aimed to defend Serbian slavism to its ultimate consequences.

The Lord of the war

After 1989, when Slovenia decided to declare themselves independent, Raznatovic, in turn, began its transformation into Arkan, the terrifying war criminal. The building of Tito continued its fall (Croatia in 1990, Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1991), and Arkan saw the possibility of making a hollow, economic, hoisting little convincing Serbian patriotism of those who had not hesitated to share camaraderie with the former Communists. The case was that the chetniks, led by Arkan, harassed by Milosevic, and above the stupid self-sufficiency in the European Union, began to act. The modus operandi was simple: the official Yugoslav army would operate up to the limit of legality. later, Arkan and his chetniks is responsible for the cruelties and atrocities that did need to make it clear who was the owner of the Balkan Hornets. Finally and after, Milosevic, the former teammate of seasoned criminals raids of false eslavismo, it was President of the crumbling Republic, and in no way were going to allow the Serb population living in splintering territories remain "helpless".

According to further data from UNHCR, the first intervention of Arkan in the Yugoslav war took place in 1991, in the siege of Vukovar (Croatia), when after the Yugoslav federal army had razed the city with their bombs, and while both sides tried to sign a truce, some 200 chetniks commanded by Arkan they went to the field hospital and forced out some 250 Croatian soldiers convalescing. The soldiers were taken to a field on the outskirts of the city and executed by paramilitary militias, for the express purpose (developed in a full range of hectoring literature that the chetniks dispersed through the still-smoking City) of the Croats to take good note of what was the future that held them. The next day, Arkan was safe from reprisals in Belgrade, willing to take possession of your certificate as a member of the Serbian Parliament of President Milosevic (although your effective income would not occur until next year..., things of the war) and, at the same time, ensure the Serbs than the fuel embargo would not affect them. Of course, from this very moment, the fortune of Arkan began to be excessive, as it controlled the illegal distribution of fuel and other raw materials in the punished Yugoslavia.

The atrocities in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1991-1995)

The Vukovar incident was but the first of a long series of actions, which also included the mass deportation of Croats and the nighttime expeditions of punishment, in which the chetniks forced enemies to abandon their homes to stay in them to Serb families in Croatia. The signing of an agreement between Serbs and Croats, in January 1992, is marked where guidelines for eviction of troops, ended momentary these excesses. Almost at the same time, they began to arrive at the International Criminal Tribunal in the Hague the reports of observers from UNHCR on the bloody fate of Arkan; to get safely to their main military stronghold, Milosevic, and with him the forces of the Serbian right-wing, initiated a campaign of popularity of the criminal whose most important step, in addition to access to the Parliament, was that Arkan assumes the Presidency of one of the most popular football clubs in Belgrade, the Obilijc.

Secured its image of Serbian national hero (and also his mastery of the smuggling situation) and saved the first international challenge, Arkan returned to shake the world in the war between Yugoslavia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, where also counted with the acquiescence of the other representative of the schizophrenic Balkan political caste: the sinister Radovan Karadzic, President of the self-proclaimed Bosnian Republic Serbia. The modus operandi quoted above was the best weapons of Karadzic, as the insidious European Governments had reacted (with the usual delay in these little crematisticos cases), and Milosevic would have had serious problems in case Federal troops to the excesses of the serbio-bosnios. Arkan, therefore, directed the repatriation of at least one million Bosnian Muslims toward other areas, expel them from their homes for the benefit of their compatriots, the establishment of the snipers that devastated Krajina, Sarajevo, Mostar and pristine, and, mainly, of the systematic violation by the chetniks, of any right of the condition, as it was observed (among other examples of an endless list), in the siege of Banja Luka (1995), where two hundreds of Muslims (including elderly and children) were executed and buried in mass graves by the half of his chetniks... While the other half berated sexually, with the blessing of its leader, Muslim city women, other details of the Serbian genocidal more, sadly, common.

Its past horrors: Kosovo (1995-1999)

During the last five years of the 20th century it was common until the nausea the systematic appearance of public media Belgrade Serbian criminal whenever the United Nations decreed a new embargo on the already castigated by Serb population. The grotesque observe the maximum benefit, economically and militarily, the harsh living conditions Yugoslav called for calm, the struggle and sacrifice his countrymen only was comparable to the opprobrium of their impunity to get an extraordinary real estate in the capital, starting at the Intercontinental Hotel and all the inherent to the structure (casino, sauna, shopping) emporio, in his stained hands (blood and smuggle) since 1995. At the same time, campaign launched by Milosevic image laundering continued its journey, because while Arkan was safe, it was also its President. Thus, at the beginning of 1996 (in one of the most harsh winters in a country devastated by the action inside and outside), propaganda rhetoric tried to excite the population through the poignant love story of the bloodthirsty Arkan, Svetlana Velickovic, had succumbed to the powerful charms of Ceca, called in fact the most popular folk singer from Yugoslavia. In any case, the wedding gift he/she received the couple was the order of search and capture of the excited bridegroom, issued by the International Criminal Court in the person of the Canadian Prosecutor Louise Arbour, accusing him of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

International order forced Arkan and his henchmen to act in a more cautious manner, albeit with identical and lewd results. In this way, the Serb militias of protection (the chetniks of life) disintegrated within the pseudopatriotico name of strength of Serb volunteers (the chetniks of all the death), and went on to act in Kosovo, where the majority of population albano-kosovar, with the help of the KLA, in its attempt to resurrect the independence of other Balkan regions, only ended up living in disastrous foreground the resurgence of the deportationsmurder and mass graves. With control of the operation, Arkan led to ethnic cleansing and the illegal deportation to Macedonia at least thirty thousands of Albanians in 1998, with the sarcastic swipe of black humor into, trains and buses leading to the hell of the refugee camps, a music with songs from their brand-new voluptuous wife.

This detail, although it may seem trivial, meant the first touch of importance between Milosevic and Arkan, since the maximum secrecy with which the first had designed the intervention of your dog's dam was discovered by emissaries of UNHCR, who, faced with the intolerable challenge of Arkan, cancelled operations and precipitated the intervention of NATO in the conflict. It is quite possible that the most pathetic of the massacres perpetrated by the Serbian criminal was related to both questions: the disapproval of what until now had been its maximum development, Milosevic, and the urgency of returning to Belgrade before the medicinal and destructive percussion prescribed by aircraft of the Atlantic Alliance. The case was that, in February 1999, a dozen children Albanians, accused of attacking the Yugoslav unit, were personally executed by el salvador's Serbian slavism by a shot in the neck in the vicinity of Celine. Within hours, rivers of French champagne and tons of Iranian caviar ran by the Belgrade Intercontinental Hotel to celebrate the return of the... hero.

Mafia and corruption

The police and military surveillance of international authorities deprived, until then, infinite capacity of movement of Arkan, who was practically relegated to its hotel stronghold in the capital. At the time, the punishment suffered by the Serb population as a result of the intervention of NATO in Belgrade, as well as weaken the position of Milosevic in the Presidency of the Republic, had meant so fruitful relationship between Arkan and Slobo criminal order, since the signing of the terms of peace by Milosevic had been rated as "treason" by your dog's prey. Broken relationship to can rebel against his master, Arkan continued evading the international dock helped by its special relationship with the European mafia, while it continued to be the main benefit of any criminal activity and smuggling, aided by its new partner in organized crime, the no less powerful Goran Sijan. Almost all Yugoslav levels, protecting its position as important posts were occupied, overwhelmingly, by old chetniks of Arkan, who, although they not sympathetic at all already to his former boss, feared Yes its bloody resolutions. According to reports from UNHCR and Interpol, Arkan argued, during 1999, a coded heritage in more than $ 100 million, what amounted to their rewards, bribes, gratuities and gratuities considered the main source of income of the Yugoslav population. The Lord of the war had become, for the sake of political protection, indomitable fighter fame and the domain of the mafia and corruption, in the true Lord of Yugoslavia, Emperor of fear and terror in a country broken down to exhaustion.

Despite this, as typically frightful in this type of events, there is always a most coveted prey which, in this case, was the own Milosevic. The sudden interest of the partially-so-called 'international community' by downloading the collective consciousness by the capture of the Yugoslav President took the biografiado character to weigh a succulent offer, made by emissaries of one of the most powerful countries on the planet: surrender to the International Criminal Court as a war criminal, and gain substantial reductions in his sentence in Exchange for the signing of an affidavit against his former comrade Slobo. When a global intelligence agency dared to give by some news, during the summer of 1999, certain bureaucratic formalities made distrust the criminal and, finally, it did not conduct as patriotic plan. But accounts settings mafia, guided also by their own "international body", were not so much condescension. Something should go wrong so that, in December 1999, Arkan, Goran Sijan, partner fall shot with bullets in the Centre of Belgrade. Barely a month later, the own Arkan, surrounded by bodyguards on his own Golden closure of the Intercontinental Hotel, he/she received three bullet impacts in the skull, on January 15, 2000, and he/she died when he/she was being transferred to a hospital. The chaotic situation of Yugoslavia, dominated by organized crime, not even served, in internal circles, not be think of the own Milosevic as instigator of the event, because he/she had never forgiven Arkan that it wanted to accept the Western offer to testify in the Hague. Anyway, it is quite possible to never know who was behind the bullets that ended, precisely with the one who had built their huge miseries guiding those same bullets in the vilest direction, to the point of becoming one of the most bloody murderers of history.


DIEGO GARC√ćA, e. of. Balkan powder keg of Europe. (Madrid: Arco books, 1996).

HOBSBAWM, E. J. Historia of the 20th century. (Barcelona: criticism, 1996).