Jozef Slagveer

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Jozef Slagveer
BornJozef Hubert Maria Slagveer
(1940-01-25)January 25, 1940
Totness, Suriname
💀DiedDecember 8, 1982(1982-12-08) (aged 42)
Paramaribo, SurinameDecember 8, 1982(1982-12-08) (aged 42)
💼 Occupation
Journalist, writer

Jozef Hubert Maria Slagveer (25 January 1940 – 8 December 1982) was a Surinamese journalist and writer. He was one of the fifteen opponents of the Bouterse regime who were killed during the December murders.


Slagveer was born in Totness in the Coronie District, in a Roman Catholic family. His father wanted him to become a writer; his mother hoped for a career in the monastery. He attended the General Secondary School (AMS) in Paramaribo. Subsequently, Slagveer left for the Netherlands where he studied journalism at the Free University in Amsterdam. In 1967, he returned to Suriname.

Slagveer initially worked at the Education Department of the Ministry of Education, but started his own press agency with Rudi Kross in 1971, which issued a daily bulletin and a weekly magazine. He also provided a weekly radio program. He was in favor of the independence of Suriname and wanted, together with Rudi Kross, to transform the National Party of Suriname into a socialist movement. They also wrote a brochure about financial mismanagement at the Surinam Airways. Slagveer fell in disgrace in 1975 with the Arron government.

After the independence of Suriname, Slagveer became the mouthpiece of the dissatisfied sergeants of the National Army of Suriname. After they committed a coup d'état on 25 February 1980, he was appointed as their spokesman and propagated their reign. For some time, Slagveer was presenter of a television program in which the Military Authority of Suriname presented samples of physical re-education that involved "re-education".

Gradually, Slagveer began to criticize the regime. Probably because of this criticism, Slagveer was arrested in the night of 7 to 8 December 1982. He would have been tortured by Roy Horb that night to force a confession. Slagveer made a statement on 8 December, which was broadcast by Surinamese television. He was visibly tortured, and said that he had planned a coup with lawyers, teachers, journalists and trade union leaders. That same evening he was murdered at Fort Zeelandia at the age of 42.


  • Michiel van Kempen, Een geschiedenis van de Surinaamse literatuur. Breda: De Geus, 2003, part II, pp. 822–825.

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