From Spain, Charges Against 20 in the Killing of 6 Priests in in 1989 El Salvador
By ELISABETH MALKIN
In a 77-page document, the judge, Eloy Velasco Nuñez of Spain’s
The attack on the priests — who were killed along with their housekeeper and her teenage daughter — was considered brutal even in a civil war known for its violence against civilians. It led to a crisis in
Five of the six Jesuits were born in
“When justice can’t be obtained in the country where the crimes were committed, it’s important that the process go forward,” said the Rev. Andreu Oliva, the rector of the
Among the men named in the indictment
“We wanted to walk the judge every step of the way,” said Almudena Bernabeu, a lawyer with the Center for Justice and Accountability in San Francisco, which brought the case to
The killings occurred as left-wing guerrillas were beginning an offensive against
Under international pressure, a Salvadoran court tried nine men for the killings and convicted two officers, including Col. Guillermo Benavides Moreno, who witnesses said gave direct orders to the commando who carried out the killings. Both Colonel Moreno and the other officer were freed after serving 15 months under an amnesty declared in 1993. They are both named in the new indictment. Judge Velasco argued that the earlier trial was a sham.
Under the peace accords, the guerrillas joined the political process. Two years ago, their candidate, Mauricio Funes, was elected president and started a process of reconciliation.
Gene Palumbo contributed reporting from San Salvador, and Raphael Minder from
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"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs