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Salvadoran general Rene Emilio Ponce, blamed for slaying of priests, dies at 64

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-03-11 10:11 PM
Original message
Salvadoran general Rene Emilio Ponce, blamed for slaying of priests, dies at 64
Source: Los Angeles Times

Tuesday, May. 03, 2011
Salvadoran general Rene Emilio Ponce, blamed for slaying of priests, dies at 64
By ALEX RENDEROS AND TRACY WILKINSON - Los Angeles Times E-Mail

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador Rene Emilio Ponce, the once-powerful army general blamed for one of the most egregious atrocities in El Salvador's civil war, the killing of six Roman Catholic priests, has died. He was 64.

Ponce died Monday at the Military Hospital in San Salvador, the capital, after being admitted last week in critical condition with heart trouble, El Salvador's Defense Ministry said in a statement.

Ponce served as defense minister and army chief of staff in the last half of the Cold War-era conflict that ended in 1992, becoming one of the U.S.-backed government's most important military strategists.

A United Nations truth commission after the war determined that Ponce had ordered the assassination of the country's leading Jesuit priest, Ignacio Ellacuria, rector of the Jesuit-run University of Central America. Ellacuria, suspected by the army of supporting leftist guerrillas, was slain on Nov. 16, 1989, along with five other priests, their housekeeper and her teenage daughter because the orders instructed that no witnesses be left behind, the commission said.

Read more: http://www.thestate.com/2011/05/03/1804324/salvadoran-g...
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-03-11 10:38 PM
Response to Original message
1. Memory refresher. Graphic photo. "Jesuits Massacre Case "
Jesuits Massacre Case

On the morning of November 16, 1989, El Salvador and the world woke up to the news that six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and the housekeepers daughter had been brutally murdered. The Salvadoran military committed the crime as part of its misguided defense against an offensive launched by the Farabundo Mart Liberation Front (FMLN). The military sought to deflect attention from their role in the killings and blamed the FMLN by spray painting FMLN slogans on the walls at the crime scene which falsely accused the priests of having collaborated with the government. As summarized in Truth Commission report, on the night of November 15, 1989, then Colonel Ponce, in the presence of General Juan Rafael Bustillo, Colonel Juan Orlando Zepeda, Colonel Inocente Orlando Montano and Colonel Francisco Elena Fuentes, ordered Colonel Guillermo Alfredo Benavides to kill Jesuit Father Ellacura and to leave no witnesses. Later that night, Benavides in turn ordered Espinoza Guerra to carry out the mission to kill Ellacura and to not leave any witnesses behind.

Espinoza Guerra and his platoon arrived at the University of Central America in San Salvador in the early hours of November 16, 1989 and made their way to the Pastoral Center. When the priests came out to see what the commotion was about, they were ordered to go out into the garden and lay face down on the ground, while the soldiers searched the building. At this point, Lieutenant Espinoza Guerra gave the order to kill the priests. In the end, six priests, their housekeeper and the housekeeper's daughter were brutally murdered.

Lieutenant Espinoza Guerra and his troops attempted to cover up their role in the massacre by making it look as if the killings were done by members of the FMLN. They did this by spray painting FMLN slogans on the walls and using a rifle associated with the FMLN in the killings.

In response to a petition filed by Human Rights Watch in 1999, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) found that El Salvador had violated the victims rights to life, judicial guarantees and effective prosecution. The IACHR recommended that El Salvador conduct a complete, impartial and effective investigation in accordance with international standards to identify, prosecute and sentence all the responsible parties. The Commission also called for El Salvador to indemnify the affected parties and to adjust its internal laws to comply with the American Convention on Human Rights, which would include revoking the Amnesty Law.

More:
http://www.cja.org/section.php?id=84

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-03-11 10:55 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Soldiers involved in this massacre were School of the Americas graduates,
financed by the U.S. taxpayers, trained at the School of the Americas, formerly in Panama, then Ft. Benning, Georgia.

You may find this list interesting: Notorious Graduates from El Salvador

~snip~
1LT Mario Arevalo Melendez, 1989, Commando Operations Course Jesuit massacre, 1989: Had prior knowledge of the massacre of 6 Jesuit priests and covered-up the massacre, which also included the priests' housekeeper and her teen-age daughter. (United Nations Truth Commission Report on El Salvador, 1993)

~snip~
SGT Antonio Ramiro Avalos Vargas, 1988, Small Unit Training and Management
Jesuit massacre, 1989: Non-commissioned officer in charge of the small unit that massacred 6 Jesuit priests, their housekeeper, and her daughter, (United Nations Truth Commission Report on El Salvador, 1993)

~snip~
COL Carlos Armando Aviles Buitrago, 1968, Cadet Course
Jesuit massacre, 1989: Aided in the planning and the cover-up of the massacre of 6 priests, their housekeeper, and her daughter. (United Nations Truth Commission Report on El Salvador, 1993)

~snip~
GEN Juan Rafael Bustillo,1965, Counterinsurgency Orientation Jesuit massacre, 1989: Planned and covered-up the massacre of 6 priests, their housekeeper and her daughter. (United Nations Truth Commission Report on El Salvador, 1993)

~snip~
COL Francisco Elena Fuentes, 1985-1986, Guest Instructor; 1973, Officer Supply Course
Jesuit massacre, 1989: Planned and covered-up the massacre. (United Nations Truth Commission Report on El Salvador, 1993)
Supervised death squad training, 1990: U.S. Ambassador William Walker termed Elena Fuentes and the First Brigade "among the worst in terms of human rights." Besides commanding the brigade, Elena Fuentes supervised the training of a death squad called "The Patriotic Ones." (The New York Times, 12/13/93)

~snip~
1LT Jos? R. Espinoza Guerra, 1982, Spanish Officer Cadet Course
Jesuit massacre, 1989: Part of the patrol that massacred 6 Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter. (United Nations Truth Commission Report on El Salvador, 1993)

~snip~
CPT Jos? Fuentes Rodas, 1986, Combat Arms Officer Course; 1980, Cadet Orientation
Jesuit massacre, 1989: Planned and covered up the massacre. (United Nations Truth Commission Report on El Salvador, 1993)

1LT Francisco M. Gallardo Mata, 1992, Combat Operations Course; 1990,
Combat Arms Officer Adv. Course
Jesuit massacre, 1989: Planned and covered-up the massacre. (United Nations Truth Commission Report on El Salvador, 1993)

~snip~
1LT Gonzalo Guevara Cerritos, 1988, El Salvador Cadet Course
Jesuit massacre, 1989: Was a member of the patrol that killed the 6 Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter. (United Nations Truth Commission Report on El Salvador, 1993)

1LT Jos? V. Hern?ndez Ayala, 1991, Combat Arms Officer Course
Jesuit massacre, 1989: Knew in advance of the massacre and aided in the cover-up of the murder of 6 Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her teen-age daughter. (United Nations Truth Commission Report on El Salvador, 1993)

LTC Carlos Camillio Hern?ndez Barahona, 1975, Communications Officer
Course; 1972, Combat Arms/Support Services
Jesuit massacre, 1989: Planned and covered-up the massacre of 6 Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her sixteen-year- old daughter. (United Nations Truth Commission Report on El Salvador, 1993)

~snip~
1LT Ram?n E. Lopez Larios, 1992, Combat Arms Officer Adv. Course; 1988,
Infantry Officer Basic Course Jesuit massacre, 1989: Planned and covered-up the massacre. (United Nations Truth Commission Report on El Salvador, 1993)

1LT Rene Roberto Lopez Morales, 1990, Combined Officer Advanced Course; 1988, Commando Operations Course; 1987, Combat Arms Officer Course Jesuit massacre, 1989: Planned and covered-up the massacre. (United Nations Truth Commission Report on El Salvador, 1993)

COL Nelson Lopez y Lopez,1968, Cadet Course
Jesuit massacre, 1989: Assigned to investigate the massacre, he instead participated in the cover-up. (United Nations Truth Commission Report on El Salvador, 1993)

COL Dionisio Ismael Machuca, 1984, Joint Operations Course 318 torture cases and 618 detentions, 1980-1993: The Non- Governmental Human Rights Commission in El Salvador has attributed hundreds of cases of human right: abuse to Machuca. (Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador)

1LT Edgar Santiago Mart?nez Marroquin, 1991, Combat Arms Officer Course Jesuit massacre, 1989: Had prior knowledge of the massacre of Jesuit priests and aided in the cover-up of the crime, which also cost the lives of the priests' housekeeper and her daughter. (United Nations Truth Commission Report on El Salvador, 1993)

~snip~
CPT Carlos Napolian Medina Garay, 1970, Cadet Course
El Junquillo massacre, 1981: Commander of the unit which burned crops, raped women and children (many under the age of 12), and murdered them. (United Nations Truth Commission Report on El Salvador, 1993)

1LT Yusshy Rene Mendoza Vallecillos, 1988, Commando Operation Course; 1982, Spanish Officer Cadet Course
Jesuit massacre, 1989: Convicted for heading the patrol that slaughtered 6 Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her teen-age daughter. (United Nations Truth Commission Report on El Salvador, 1993)

COL Inocente Orlando Montano,1970, Engineer Officer Course Jesuit massacre, 1989: Was in on the planning of the massacre, and cooperated in the cover-up. (United Nations Truth Commission Report on El Salvador, 1993)

~snip~
CPL Angel Perez Vasquez, 1987, Small Unit Training and Management
Jesuit massacre, 1989: Was a member of the small unit that slaughtered 6 Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter. (United Nations Truth Commission Report on El Salvador, 1993)

COL Manuel Antonio Rivas Mejia, 1975, Urban Counterinsurgency Ops.;1970, Cadet Course
Jesuit massacre, 1989: Assigned to investigate the massacre, Rivas Mejia instead participated in the cover-up. (United Nations Truth Commission Report on El Salvador, 1993)

~snip~
GEN Gilberto Rubio, 1976, Logistics Management Course,1971, Tactical Officer Cadet Course
Jesuit massacre, 1989: Participated in the cover-up of the massacre of 6 Jesuit priests, their housekeeper, and her daughter, who were all murdered at the priests' residence at the University of Central America in San Salvador. (United Nations Truth Commission Report on El Salvador, 1993)

~snip~
GEN Juan Orlando Zepeda, 1975, Urban Counterinsurgency Ops.; 1969,
Unnamed Course
Jesuit massacre, 1989: Planned the assassination of 6 Jesuit priests and covered-up the massacre, which also took the lives of the priests' housekeeper and her teen-age daughter. (United Nations Truth Commission Report on El Salvador, 1993)
Other war crimes, 1980's: The Non-Governmental Human Rights Commission in El Salvador also cites Zepeda for involvement in 210 summary executions, 64 tortures, and 110 illegal
detentions. (Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador)

More:
http://www.soaw.org/news

You might want to scan the entire El Salvador SOA list, to remind yourself of the kinds of things they are taught on your dime. They have learned their lessons well, it appears.
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marasinghe Donating Member (754 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-03-11 11:12 PM
Response to Original message
3. though i am happily an atheist, i would willingly get religion ....
if that would guarantee a hell - where scum such as rene emilio ponce, pay for their sins.
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mackerel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-03-11 11:13 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Like my old man used to say:
We must be in hell, there are so many Christians running around.
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