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Wed Aug 23, 2017, 09:53 AM

Federal Court: US Can Extradite Ex-El Salvador Official to Spain for Jesuits Massacre

Source: Just Security


By Beth Van Schaack
Wednesday, August 23, 2017 at 9:16 AM


On Monday, U.S. federal judge Terrence Boyle ruled that Inocente Orlando Montano Morales (Montano)—who headed El Salvador’s National Police as Vice Minister for Public Security in the 1980s—can be extradited to Spain to stand trial for his role in the 1989 murder of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper, and her daughter on the grounds of the University of Central America (UCA). A magistrate judge, Kimberly Swank, had earlier reached the same conclusion (her ruling is here). Montano sought habeas corpus from the district court, the government filed a motion to dismiss, and a hearing was held in November 2016. Monday’s ruling followed. Here is a quick update on this story, which I’ve covered in the past.

The massacre took place during the Salvadoran civil war. Members of the Salvadoran army stormed the UCA, forced the priests to kneel in the courtyard, and subsequently shot them in the back of the head. The Salvadoran Truth Commission, declassified documents collected by the non-profit National Security Archives, and the diary of one of the co-conspirators all reveal that Colonel Montano was present when the order was given to kill Father Ignacio Ellacuría—who was attempting to broker peace talks between the government and the rebel forces—and to leave no witnesses. Five of the priests were Spanish nationals.

The massacre sparked global outrage and in many respects marked a turning point in the war. It also led to a U.S. congressional investigation that concluded that the U.S. military had trained members of the armed forces who participated in the killing in “unconventional warfare” and other military tactics.

. . .

In 2008, lawyers from the Center for Justice & Accountability (CJA) and the Spanish Pro-Human Rights Association invoked the Spanish law on extraterritorial jurisdiction to seek the indictment of 20 former Salvadoran military officials alleged to have been involved in the Jesuit massacre, including Montano. Colonel Montano was discovered living in Everett, Massachusetts and working at a candy factory. Having lied about his military service when he entered the United States and applied for Temporary Protective Status, he was charged in the United States with immigration fraud (18 USC 1546); he eventually pled guilty in September 2012 and was sentenced to 21 months imprisonment. He served his sentence in North Carolina, which is where his extradition challenge has played out. My colleague, Prof. Terry Lynn Karl, submitted an expert report in the case detailing Montano’s involvement in a range of human rights abuses, including the murder of the Jesuits. In the meantime, Spain sought Montano’s extradition from the United States and that process has been underway ever since. The rest of the defendants are presumed to be in El Salvador. The Spanish extradition requests to Salvador have not borne fruit, however, in part due to the application of the amnesty law.

Read more: https://www.justsecurity.org/44397/judge-rules-inocente-orlando-montano-morales-extradited-spain-stand-trial-jesuits-massacre/

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Reply Federal Court: US Can Extradite Ex-El Salvador Official to Spain for Jesuits Massacre (Original post)
Judi Lynn Aug 2017 OP
sandensea Aug 2017 #1
Judi Lynn Aug 2017 #4
Solly Mack Aug 2017 #2
Princess Turandot Aug 2017 #3
Judi Lynn Aug 2017 #5
sandensea Aug 2017 #6
Joe Chi Minh Aug 2017 #7

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 10:09 AM

1. Very good, if long overdue, news.

For anyone unfamiliar, here's more about the massacre - and its connection to the School of the Americas (at 1:30):

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Response to sandensea (Reply #1)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 10:47 AM

4. So good to have seen this video. If only more US Americans realized what has been happening.

In time the truth will be completely known nationally, despite the excessive measures taken to keep us in the dark.

Taking time to watch short videos like this can open eyes which might decide to go ahead and look for more of the truth through research, now completely available to everyone.

Thank you, sandensea.

SOAW people are all heroes.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 10:11 AM

2. K&R

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 10:28 AM

3. Meanwhile, arrest orders for the suspects still living in El Salvador were voided yesterday...

Some of them had been previously tried in El Salvador for the murders but were acquitted, while the remainder had benefited from an amnesty for any crimes committed during the country's civil war. I assume that's why they had already refused to extradite them to Spain.

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/el-salvadors-supreme-court-sides-massacre-suspects-49366557

El Salvador's supreme court on Tuesday cancelled arrest orders for 16 retired soldiers accused of involvement in the killing of six Jesuit priests and two others in 1989 during the country's civil war.

Five of the priests were Spaniards, and Spain was seeking the extradition of the 16 along with retired Col. Inocente Orlando Montano, who is jailed in the United States and awaiting extradition.

The Salvadoran court's constitutional arm said it cancelled the orders because the court had already ruled their extradition would be improper.

Of those sought by Spain, only nine had faced justice in El Salvador for the killings. In 1991, a jury absolved most of them. Two were convicted, but later released under an amnesty for those who committed crimes during the civil war.

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Response to Princess Turandot (Reply #3)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 10:53 AM

5. Thanks for this new info. Funny name, "Col. Inocente Orlando Montano" to give a guy

who made his career committing war crimes, isn't it?

What a shame they were able to find a way, as did so many other Latin American countries which slaughtered their own indigenous, poor citizens, to protect these murderous idiots after the rough stuff was over, and they had neutralized all dissent, either through murder or absolute, paralyzing terrorism.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #5)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 11:20 AM

6. I can just imagine him joking about it with his Miami Cuban pals.

Le dije: "Soy inocente, su señoría."

I told him: "I'm innocent, Your Honor!"

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #5)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 11:21 AM

7. The Latins do tend to have quite exotic names to our ears, Judi,

don't they ? I remember a tough little Panamanian jockey, called 'Jacinto' (something or other. I forget his surname). But imagine his father letting his mother, presumably, choose the name, Hyacinth for him. Unless it was a boy named Sue thing on his part. Then there was that Spanish judge calling for Pinochet's extradition, called Balthasar, or the Spanish version very similar ; presumably after one of the legendary Magi.

Not all that long ago, the French won, I think, both the European Cup and the World Cup soccer trophies. But, you know they deserved to win, because of their names. How about Celestine Babayaro ?

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