Spanish rights activists applaud extradition order, arrests over 1989 murders of Jesuits in El Salvador

Journalists and Salvadoran bishop at scene of 1989 murder of Spanish Jesuits in El Salvador. Photo: El País
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• Atlacatl Batallion officer said to have ordered murders among arrested •

The Spanish human rights organization which filed charges that led to arrest warrants against Salvadoran ex-military officers for the 1989 murder of Spanish Jesuits in El Salvador have applauded the decision by a U.S. judge to extradite one of the officials to Spain and the near-simultaneous arrest of four others in El Salvador over the weekend.

In a statement, the Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos de España (Apdhe) said it welcomed the extradition order against former Salvadoran army Col. Inocente Montano issued Friday by a judge in the U.S. state of North Carolina and the arrest of four of 17 ex-military charged with terrorism and crimes against humanity. The 17 ex-military are charged in connection with the 1989 summary execution by the Salvadoran army of five Spanish Jesuits, a Salvadoran Jesuit colleague, the priests’ housekeeper and her 16-year-old daughter.

Montano, in jail in North Carolina on immigration charges, will be extradited to Spain to stand trial unless the court order is overturned on appeal; the four military arrested in El Salvador include former Army Col. Guillermo Alfredo Benavides, commanding officer of the Salvadoran army’s feared Atlacatl Batallion in 1989, who is accused of having given the order to murder the Jesuits at their residence.

► Read the Full Story in Spanish at El Día …

► Read the Full Story in English at The New York Times …

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