A man dubbed by locals in South Sulawesi as ‘Kolor Ijo’ (Green Underpants) was shot to death yesterday by police after he and two other inmates escaped from prison earlier this month.
Kolor Ijo has become something of an urban legend in Indonesia, described as a man/demon who, legend has it, uses black magic to burglarize homes and rape their occupants while wearing nothing but green underpants.
It is believed that the legend originated from a burglary and rape of a woman in Bekasi, right in front of her family, in 2003. The victim and her family testified that the rapist only wore green underpants during the incident.
Since then, more and more rape cases throughout the country were blamed on Kolor Ijo, who in turn became larger than life, with illustrations in media portraying him as a monster who can break into people’s houses with little effort and sexually assault the women inside.
As ghastly as the illustrations are in appearance, they aren’t as horrible as the deeds of the rapist in South Sulawesi whose MO was so similar to the Kolor Ijo legend that locals gave him the title.
In 2016, a court found a man named Iqbal guilty of raping 33 women in the Luwu Timur regency in South Sulawesi in 2015. He was sentenced to death for “extraordinary crimes”, which involve him stabbing his victims’ genitals with a knife after raping them. One of his victims died from blood loss.
The Kolor Ijo of Luwu Timur was jailed in a prison in Makassar as he awaited his execution. However, he escaped with two other inmates on May 7 and was on the run for weeks.
Police tracked Kolor Ijo down to Poso Pesisir Central Sulawesi yesterday. They shot and killed him while he was allegedly attacking the police officers.
Kolor Ijo’s lawyer, Agus Melas, positively identified the body at a morgue in Makassar and even took a selfie with the corpse of the notorious serial rapist/murderer.
Urban legends aside, the reality is that Indonesian women are still very vulnerable to gender-based violence. A report from the Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas PA) showed that there were 13,602 reported cases of violence against women in Indonesia in 2016, which averages to 37 per day.