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An East Timorese Boy with a Gun

Constâncio Pinto, East Timor Survivor

I had this experience one day when I was in the front line. I saw with my eyes two of the Indonesians, young soldiers, sitting, talking there. I mean, it’s not that far: very close, maybe ten meters or so—no, twenty-five meters, I would say. We could have killed them, but we thought that, well, why should we do that? But in some cases, some situations, you were forced to, yeah. So there’s always, you know—you see, there is always a sense of human—the values of human beings. Well, I’m talking about the East Timorese, not the Indonesians, right? If the two soldiers, for example, if they saw us, we could have been killed. One time I was—you know, that wasn’t at the front line, but I was sitting in my tent alone, with—just a young boy with my gun. And it was raining, and I was sitting there and thinking why I have to be here in this shelter, you know; why don’t I spend my life in the city, you know? Just a young boy, why I have to be here? And I think all the young people who are now in the same situation feel like this, that they lose their life as the young boy.