Ta Mok
Ta Mok
Ta Mok

Ta Mok (1926-2006) was nicknamed "The Butcher" because of his brutal tactics during the Khmer Rouge reign. As a teenager in the 1930's Ta Mok trained to be a Buddhist monk but byt he age of 16 he abandoned such plans. Instead, he aligned himself with the Khmer Rouge forces. By the late 1960's Ta Mok was a chief-of-staff for the group. Shortly after, Pol Pot named him the leader of the national army of Democratic Kampuchea.

After the regime was overthrown in 1979 Ta Mok remained powerful within the remaining Khmer Rouge group. Approximately 3,000-6,000 people remained faithful to Pol Pot. However, in 1997 there was a split within the party. Ta Mok took this oppurtunity to seize control of one of the factions. The same year Ta Mok arrested Pol Pot and placed him under house arrest. As government attacks increased Ta Mok fled to Anlong Veng. In 1998 he was captured and brought to the Military Prosecution Department Detention Facility in Phnom Penh.

Ta Mok was expected to be one of the first people tried for genocide and war crimes against humanity. However, before his trial occured, Ta Mok passed away of natural causes in 2006. Once again, the people of Cambodia felt they had been denied a sense of justice.

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