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COMMENT ON ZAGREB KILLINGS: If I could only write good news…

… as you can see by the title of my blog, I wanted to focus on the bright side of this industry. This does not mean to blindly follow what marketing writes, but exactly the opposite – and sadly, I had to be interrupted.

Photo courtesy of Index.hr

Photo courtesy of Index.hr

At 6:25PM, car bomb killed mr. Ivo Pukanic and mr. Niko Franic. Ivo was founder and owner of Nacional Media Group (NCL), while Niko was director of marketing and a sad collateral in this act of terrorism.

As of tonight, several good friends of mine have been put under police protection as a consequence of yesterday’s car bombing which took lifes of Ivo Pukanic and Niko Franic. What makes the matter worse, or IT-based is the fact that these friends had nothing to do with writing about politics. I don’t think they wrote a single politics-based or crime-investigating article. They wrote about world economy, reviewed console games and basically, lead normal lives of a journalist that is always pressed by deadlines. Now, they have police cars in front of their homes, and I spent the night calming people down.

It is 2:59AM right now, and instead of doing benchmarks of Badaboom encoding software, I’m spending my night talking with colleagues and friends that have police cars in front of their homes. Yes, the situation is critical, and nobody knows who’s next. After 68 unsolved mob-murders and god-knows how many non-tied ones (but were tied), streets of Zagreb are not safe. I only hope that airport will be in one place until I leave on Sunday morning.

When I moved to California, a lot of my Croatian friends told me the regular crap when it comes to US, mostly based on experiences of watching TV shows. Sadly, I cannot explain to these people what US is all about, but we all know how cities in US with terrible crime rates had crackdowns where corrupt officials were taken down.

For my Croatian buddies sending me messages to “calm down” and “you’re misrepresenting Croatia, America is much worse”, all that I can say is – wake up and smell the coffee. When it comes to America, watch American Gangster or read how Guiliani fought crime on the streets of New York.

Sadly, a lot of things are happening in Croatia, as a consequence of govenrment that placed their heads in the sand for 15 years and let almost 70 mob-related murders go unpunished, doing only cosmetic changes to the way how police force works. I wish police and special forces all the best in fighting crime, but as it is right now, Croatia is no longer a safe country. You can be the next collateral in mob killings that happen during daytime, 100 meters from the central police HQ in Croatia (last week’s execution of Ivana Hodak), or worse.

My thoughts and prays are with those who are now being protected. May no more blood be shed.

UPDATE@4:23AM: I’ve learned that one of my ex-colleagues was injured in the car bombing. Ivica Horvat and  Vedran Duhacek worked in the graphics department of NCL. According to information I have now, police has increased protection on journalists and media owners in City of Zagreb.