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Book Faces of Assassination

The book assembles 50 profiles of those who have been assassinated by criminal groups since the start of the millennium

It is a compilation of men and women who have been murdered because they confronted, weakened or threatened criminal groups. The publication is the outcome of years spent bearing witness to the great impact these assassinations have worldwide, in developed and developing countries alike.

Organized crime is indiscriminate in who it targets. Not only are conflicts between, and within, criminal groups often settled with violence, but such violence also regularly claims the lives of innocent people – those caught in the crossfire between rival criminal groups, or between criminals and the authorities.

There are also a very large number of those who are deliberately targeted for murder because they choose to take a stand against organized crime, or those whose job it is to investigate and end it.

In the years the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime has spent documenting and researching the criminal ecosystem, we have seen that, increasingly, criminal groups around the world are targeting those whom we can broadly categorize as civil society – people who choose to make social justice and the promotion of equality their life’s work. Such individuals are being assassinated because theirs are goals and aspirations and missions that confront and challenge the power, authority and local legitimacy of criminal interests the world over.

Latest updates

Far from ‘mission accomplished’ on the Caruana Galizia murder case

Fragile investigations on criminal assassinations perpetuate impunity

Julio Valdivia: writing trapped in a lawless hell

Ján Kuciak: Murder unpunished?

Repository

Global Initiative

Power, elitism and history - Analyzing trends in targeted killings in Nigeria, 2000 to 2017

This report analyses the dynamics of targeted killings in the country using a specially designed dataset over the period 2000 to 2017. It relays the highlights of this data through a discussion of the demographic patterns of targeted killings in Nigeria, including certain groups that are frequently targeted (politicians, civil servants, traditional and religious leaders, journalists etc.), as well as where assassinations predominantly occur.

University of Cape Town

The rule of the gun: Hits and assassinations in South Africa, 2000-2017

This report presents an analysis of data on contract killings carried out in South Africa between 2000 and 2017. The rapid escalation of targeted killings of people has a highly detreimental impact on South Africa’s ongoing democratic project and often fragile governance system, with the study finding that a large proportions of assassinations are contracted for political, economic or social gain.

Global Initiative

Hitmen for Hire: Exposing South Africa’s Underworld

This book focuses on the 'industry of violence' in South Africa, shedding light on the commercialisation of contract killing and what this means for the country’s evolving underworld. Drawing from over a thousand hit cases from the past seventeen years, Hitmen for Hire investigates the nexus between criminality, corruption and violence, sheding light on the context in which the hitmen live and work, as well as the economies in which they operate.

Global Initiative

#AssassinationWitness at the 14th UN Crime Congress in Kyoto

A the preview of the GI-TOC’s forthcoming Global Monitor of Assassinations, the stories of those who have been killed by organized crime and a GI-TOC campaign that raises awareness of these assassinations to the international community.

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