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Spain indicts Salvadoran military officials

Spain indicts Salvadoran military officials

Spain has indicted 20 Salvadoran military officials for the 1989 murders of 8 Jesuits and 2 women according to wireupdate.com:

MADRID, SPAIN (BNO NEWS) — Spain’s National Court on Monday indicted 20 Salvadoran military officials for their roles in the murders of eight Jesuits in November 1989, El Mundo newspaper reported.

Judge Eloy Velasco also issued arrest warrants for the 20 officials of El Salvador’s Army and initiated an investigation to locate the suspects who are currently at large. He also set a 3.2 million Euros ($4.58 million) bail for each one.

The ruling was made after Velasco questioned a married couple who witnessed the slayings that took place at the Jose Simeon Canas University (UCA). The fatal events occurred during the government of former President Alfredo Cristiani.

On November 16, 1989, members of the Salvadoran Army killed a Spanish national, Ignacio Ellacuría, dean of the UCA. In addition six other Jesuit priests (Amando Lopez, Juan Ramon Moreno, Segundo Montes, Ignacio Baro and Joaquín Lopez y Lopez) and two women were murdered.

AP reports here:

The priests — five of whom were Spaniards — were killed with their housekeeper and her daughter. They worked at the Jesuit-run Universidad Centroamericana and had been suspected of sympathizing with leftist rebels, known as the FMLN.

Velasco said the Jesuits, especially university rector Ignacio Ellacuria, had assumed the leadership in pressing for negotiations between the U.S.-backed government and the rebels.

“That was the fundamental motive for the killing,” said Velasco.

Velasco opened the investigation 2009 following a lawsuit by two human rights groups — the Spanish Association for Human Rights and California’s Center for Justice and Accountability.

A U.N. truth commission report in 1992 said Ponce ordered the killings of the priests.

A U.S. congressional investigation found they had been rousted from their beds and shot by soldiers on Nov. 16, 1989.

The slayings sparked international outrage and tarnished the image of U.S. anti-Communism efforts after it was found that some of the soldiers involved had received training at Fort Benning, Georgia.

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Rod Gillis

Hopefully justice will be done and those who murdered the religious who were in solidarity with the poor will be held accountable.

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