Blagoje Jovović was born in 1922 in the village of Kosić near Danilovgrad, in the Bjelopavlić tribe which had served the Royal Yugoslav Army as part of the Bjelopavlić Army-Chetnik Brigade.

When the conflict between the Chetniks and the Partizans ended in 1944, Blagoje Jovović emigrated to Italy, where he stayed at several refugee camps. He took various jobs, including a spending a portion of his time there working for the Italian Secret Intelligence Service. During his time in the Secret Service, he met Jews who gave him information that Ante Pavelić was in the Catholic Church and that he was under protection there. That was the first time when Blagoje got the idea to find Pavelić and assassinate him.

Ante Pavelić’s Assasination Attempt in Argentina

From the same source, the Jewish community of Intergens Service, Blagoje learned that the Catholic Church had used their channels to transport Pavelić to Argentina and that his security was being provided by members of the Church. So he set off from Genova to Buenos Aires in September 1947, where he would embark on a 10-year search for the most notorious Ustasha criminal.

Blagoje took various jobs in Argentina, he worked as a waiter, tailor, hotel employee, retail worker, but he never once wished to give up on his idea for Pavelić. He planned that mission along with his cousin Jakov Jovović, and they were joined by Milo Krivokapić, Milan Gaćeša and his sister Milena Gaćeša, whose father and six other members of her family were killed by Ante Pavelić.

The plan was to carry out the assassination on April 9, 1957, the day before the anniversary of the NDH would be celebrated, but since Pavelić had decided to come with his wife and daughter, the plan was postponed for the following day. That April 10, 1957, Pavelić was suspicious after exiting the bus and he suspected his companion, who was wearing a hat and glasses without any lenses. He turned around and started shooting at Jovović, one of the bullets punctured his coat and the other hit him in the leg.
Wounded, Blagoje kept running after him, the adrenaline prevented him from feeling his injuries, he shot at Pavelić five times and hit him twice, one bullet hit him in the shoulder and the other in the stomach, which lodged itself in Pavelić’s spinal cord and Pavelić collapsed to the ground.

Quote From the Book “Two Bullets for Pavelić”, In Blagoje Jovović’s Own Words:

I’m seven, eight meters away. Pavelić felt me, saw me… started cursing.

I hear a gunshot, I have no idea where it’s coming from.

I don’t stop. I run straight at Pavelić. I got within two, three meters and I take a shot. Once. Twice! I shot him in the back, as he was running away. Got him twice. He fell.

He was carrying a bag, he dropped to the side it in someone’s garden.

He fell, he’s not moving, I can’t believe he could be playing dead with two bullets in him.

That’s when I think — it’d be better if he survived, then they’ll take him to the hospital, people will see him and then he’ll have to stand trial!

Should I finish him off? Then I saw that bag. Documents? It would be good to get my hands on it… but if there’s money on the bag and they catch me, they’ll say I’m a thief. And that I killed him for the money! So I left both Pavelić and the Bag.

Someone yells: “He’s running, he’s running!”

Gunshots coming at me. I turned around and fired back in that direction. I fired three shots.

I start running around the buildings, in a semicircle on the street.

People come out. They’re asking — what happened?

Out of breath as I was, I told them:

“Look what those fools are doing over there, they got drunk and they’re shooting at everything!”

“That guy is either crazy or drunk,” I yelled so the people standing at their windows could hear me.

My gun is in my pocket. I saved a bullet, just in case.”

Pavelić’s bodyguards ran out of his mansion, when they saw that he’d been wounded they carried him to the hospital, trying to hide him, but the assassination attempt immediately made the news and the Argentinian media started writing about Pavelić’s war crimes, especially the assassination of King Aleksandar Karađorđević on October 9, 1934 in Marseille by the Ustasha and the members of the terrorist organization BMPO.

While the Argentinian authorities were carrying out their investigation, two members of the Ustasha Special Forces arrived to Buenos Aires with orders to transfer Pavelić to Spain as soon as possible. Pavelić arrived to Madrid on September 29, 1957, where thousands of Ustasha were already hiding, including war criminal Maks Luburić.

Since Pavelić had diabetes, he was not able to undergo surgery to remove both bullets. He died two years later, on December 28, 1959, from the consequences of the assassination attempt.

Blagoje’s Return to Homeland

As the identity of Ante Pavelić’s would-be assassin remained a totalmystery, the Ustasha believed that the attack came from the members of the state security service (the erstwhile UDBA).

55 years later, in 1999, Blagoje returned to the FR Yugoslavia for the first time. He traveled from Argentina and visited the Ostrog Monastery. In his confession to Metropolitan Amfilohije, he admitted that he was the man who killed Ante Pavelić, and that is how the public learned the identity of the man who had shot Pavelić in Lomas del Palomar, Buenos Aires.

Blagoje also visited his birthplace of Kosić and the cemetery where his ancestors were buried. He passed away a few months after his first and last visit to his birthplace, on June 2, 1999 in Rosario, Argentina.

As of last year, the Zagorska Street in Zemun carries the name of Blagoje Jovović, and a commemorative plaque to Jovović was unveiled in that street.