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Đorđe Božović
File:Djordje Bozovic Giska - wiki photo.jpg
Nickname Giška
Born (1955-09-16)16 September 1955
Died 15 September 1991(1991-09-15) (aged 35)
Place of birth Peć, FPR Yugoslavia
Place of death Gospić, SFR Yugoslavia
Buried at Centralno groblje, Voždovac
Allegiance Serbia Serbia
Years of service 1991
Rank Commander
Unit Serbian Guard
Battles/wars Yugoslav wars
Battle of Gospić

Đorđe "Giška" Božović (Serbian language: Ђорђе Божовић Гишка; 16 September 1955 – 15 September 1991) was a Serbian gangster as well as paramilitary commander during the Yugoslav Wars.[1]

Early life[edit | edit source]

Božović was born Đorđe Mićković on 16 September 1955 in Peć to father Gavro Mićković from Kuči clan and mother Milena. His father Gavro was involved with underworld activity and after killing a German man in Cologne, the family decided to change their surname to Božović after Gavro's father and Đorđe's grandfather Božo. Together with his mother and younger sister Slavica, young Đorđe lived in Inđija until 1964. That is when his father got murdered and the family moved to Belgrade, settling in Voždovac neighbourhood.

The arrival to Voždovac shaped the rest of 8-year-old Đorđe's life. Growing up in a neighbourhood full of poor working class families like his own, he became lifelong friends with Branislav "Beli" Matić who got him into boxing at Radnički boxing club. Proficient at street fighting, Đorđe already had run-ins with the police in his preteen years, earning a nickname Giška. At age thirteen, he illegally crossed the border into Italy just to show that he can. Upon coming back he befriended Boris Petkov and Ranko Rubežić and together with Beli, the foursome formed a basis for the mafia clan originating in the neighbourhood.

Criminal career[edit | edit source]

Giška had close ties to the Serbian mafia (he was friends with Ljuba Zemunac) and Montenegrin mafia in his youth where he reached the rank of Boss.

Giška's relationship with other prominent members of the Belgrade underworld was marked by alternating periods of close friendship and vicious feuding, often with deadly consequences.

In the late 1980s, together with gangster Željko "Arkan" Ražnatović and painter Dragan "Tapi" Malešević, Giška ran a nightclub called Amadeus located in the Belgrade neighbourhood of Tašmajdan. According to security operative Boža Spasić, they were allowed to open the club with the blessing of Yugoslav State Security (UDBA) as a reward of sorts for Giška's and Arkan's service to UDBA over the years, however, after discovering that in addition to regular activities the club is also being used for drug running, UDBA shut it down.[2]

Serbian Guard[edit | edit source]

Božović formed the Serbian Guard paramilitary force along with Serbian Renewal Movement (SPO) leader Vuk Drašković, his wife Danica Drašković and Branislav "Beli" Matić.[3]

The paramilitary unit's training camp was located near Bor Lake in SR Serbia, SFR Yugoslavia.[3] It participated in clashes on the territory of SR Croatia near the town of Gospić.[4] Elements of the unit also participated in the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.[5] Božović was the unit's first commander, but was killed in action near Gospić.[6] Some people have alleged that Božović's death was an act of "friendly fire" orchestrated either by Zdravko Tolimir or the Republic of Serbian Krajina's government.[7] The unit's chief financier Branislav Matić was gunned down in August 1991 in Belgrade.[8]

References[edit | edit source]

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