Spanish court to prosecute Jesuit killings case

The Center for Justice and Accountability announced today that a judge in Spain has agreed to initiate prosecution of in the case of the 1989 murder of the six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter:
Madrid January 13, 2009 – Today, the Judge of the 6th Chamber of the Spanish National Court agreed to initiate a criminal prosecution in the “Jesuits Massacre,” a crime which has gone unpunished for nineteen years, in which members of the Salvadoran military murdered six priests, their housekeeper and her 16-year-old daughter. Fourteen former officers, including General Ponce, Head of the Armed Forces Joint Chiefs of Staff, and General Rafael Humberto Larios, former Minister of Defense, are now formally charged with crimes against humanity and state terrorism for their role in the massacre. Additionally the Judge reserved the right, during the course of the investigation, to indict former Salvadoran President and Commander of the Armed Forces Alfredo Cristiani for his role in covering up the crime.

The case was filed by the San Francisco-based Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA) and by the Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos en España (APDHE), a Spanish human rights association, on November 13, 2008. “The Judge's prompt action underscores the importance of this case not only for the families of the victims and the people of El Salvador but for the cause of human rights accountability around the globe,” said CJA Executive Director, Pamela Merchant. “We look forward to a successful prosecution of all of those responsible for this heinous act.”


Anonymous said…
ha ha ha, finally somebody is actually doing something about it, even if it's just stirring the pot
Anonymous said…
Where and to whom in spain do we send the file on Sanchez CEren and Mayo Sibrian for the hundreds if not thousands of ajusticiamientos of guerrilla fighters?


Anonymous said…
Amen, anonymous II. When are we going to take to task the spaniards for all the Jews and other assorted folks killed during the Inquistion in the name of the church, and by the way the church was involved in the guerilla war. I believe this has been documented and the UCA is still involved in politics and other issues that have nothing to do with the spiritual well being of their flocks. Get liberation theology out of the church and get the church back to helping people's spiritual well being. It wouldn't surprise me if the jesuits weren't behind the group fomenting this action without looking realistically at their own involvment in the civil war.
Anonymous said…
Anonymous: Any specific facts you'd like to offer about the "thousands of guerrilla ajusticiamentos" or are you just whistling dixie?
Anonymous said…
to the second anonymous...why not looking up the same folks who are following this case, if they can try and prosecute for the killings of the jesuits they might as well be able to do it for the ajusticiamientos
Anonymous said…
Je, je, je, lo mejor esta por venir!!!

Ah, let's not forget D'aubuisson and his death squads.

The best is yet to come!
Anonymous said…

For "specific facts you'd like to offer about the "thousands of guerrilla ajusticiamentos"" read recently published book called "Informe de una matanza. Grandeza y miseria en una guerrilla", written by former guerrilla fighters turned critics of the fmln.

Think they are fmln outcast and petit bourgoise traitors and do not deserve to be taken at face value, in spite of the book containing loads of personal accounts by victims relatives and whitnesses?

Ok, then heres a link to an account by victim's son and also witness and even participant of the crimes committed by Gruppenfuhrer Sanchez CEren via MAyo Sibrian against their own fighters:

Enjoy your reading.
Anonymous said…
Anyone would like to whistle dixie to the tune of video testimony on the killings ordered by Sanchez Ceren to MAyo Sibrian?

Then check these videos on that matter:
Anonymous said…
Why is a foreign country usurping the sovereignty of another nation by going forward with this trial? The leaders of both sides of the war in El Salvador entered into an agreement, but for some reason Spain believes they know better and will stand in judgment over an act that never took place on their soil. Is this not colonialism at it's worst? So El Salvador is still under Spanish rule and domination, and no agreements entered into by it's government will be considered binding by it's master Spain. Where else can such legal shenanigans lead to?
Anonymous said…
If the defendants are found guilty in this case, how will Spain enforce their verdicts? Will they send conquistadores to forcefully take them back to Spain to serve their sentences? Are Spanish taxpayers happy that their government funds are being spent in such a pursuit?
Anonymous said…
I see a lot of opinion in this thinking blog here, where we argue counterpoints to the usual left wing cry songs......

Te right will loose, but will be a great opposition. History demands that, so lets all get on board.

Lets pave the road for the third option after the FMLN crashes as a futile government, as its inoperation and internal fighting will demonstrate to the people the need for a third option.

This will be the necessary development of El Salvador's political history.

The arrival of the FMLN to power will not be the end of history, will not be the redemption people expected, it will be the hard core birth of a new country amidst the corn rows, blue gagging baby dropped from the womb into the dust, being picked clean by its mother history, discarding the now useless placenta of the past to suckle on the warm milk of the future.

There should be no fear to change. It must be so, so that we may discard the two useless parties and make them the PCN and PDC of the future. Arena and the FMLN will one day be sitting pretty in the National Assembly but they will be just a reminder of an ugly past.

Even if it takes 100 years for that to pass.

But the New El Salvdor will be born out of the failure of the FMLN government that is coming up.
Carlos X. said…
Some of the comments above illustrate why a trial is necessary, so that these discrepant interpretations of the truth can be sorted out, and the self-serving revisions of history discarded, while the elements that help us avoid a repetition of this sorrowful history are established for the generations. In a word, justice!
Anonymous said…
But with Justice for ALL

Not for just some.
Anonymous said…
That book mentioned here and in centroamerica21, was written by Geovani Galeas (a traitor) and Berne Ayala (another traitor), who openly admits to HATE the FMLN and who also says he enjoys writing about conspiracy..

Coincidence? NOP; that book from those guys IS GARBAGE and it has NO value at all. The book is a strategy from paid by ARENA to discredit the FMLN.
Ah, and just in case you don't know, centroamerica21 is owned by Geovani Galeas.

You should know more about Geovani Galeas, read this and watch those videos:

Anonymous said…
el salvador's government and society are so corrupt and so useless that in fact spain stepping in is a good thing. i think anybody but the salvadorans would do a good job at this case. salvadorans are simply too polarized, corrupt and uncompromising of a people.
Anonymous said…
The government and the FMLN entered into an agreement which brought to an end a very nasty civil war. The government was given the right to do so by the people of El Salvador. To allow another nation to negate that agreement when they weren't the ones suffering from that war, and so didn't have a vested interest to see that war come to an end, should be an outrage. Spain had nothing at stake in this agreement and for them abrogate it arbitrarily is just wrong. But then the colonial power always did think they know what is best for their poor Central American children.
Anonymous said…
The dead were Traitors to Sanchez Ceren and to Mayo Sibrian.

The families of the Dead are Traitors to the FMLN because they want to know where their bodies are.

Everyone who does not agree with the current story of the fmln, which is not HISTORY, but just a story, is a traitor.

What a happy world that of the FMLN were only the comision politica is all knowing and infalible.

Even if their truth is INFLATABLE.

Those who do not vote for the FMLN in these elections will be Agents of the CIA, Bought by ARENA and TRAITORS.

Let the Comision Politica make a Peoples tribunal.

Bring the observers from Europe, and the solidarity of the American Left, to watch the trials.

And dont film the executions.

Because then, if people believe in them, there will be more traitors to execute.

And bullets are not cheap.
Carlos X. said…
> But with Justice for ALL Not for just some.

Bring it. That's an argument NO ONE is making: I haven't heard any serious legal representative say we should pursue only atrocities committed by the right.

But in the law there is a concept called doing justice "in the case" -- i.e., the case being considered. It's usually a distraction to start trying to muddy the waters by talking about other cases, especially without any specifics.
Anonymous said…
Spain is persuing this case because the Jesuits were Spanish nationals. This has nothing to do with the peace agreement settle by the left or the right. The angry mob of the right is accusing Spain of colonialism, when in fact Spain is trying to bring closure to an injustice committed by ARENA and the military tanda. Their muddy comments are worst than the Rio Guazapa, but the fact still remainds...why did Christiani and croonies of the FAES send to kill poor inocent Jesuits? Were the Jesuits' sermons too long ? Were the Jesuits guilty of Bible preaching? No, they were martys and they were massacred. So, in order for this little country to have peace and closure, the people that were guilty of this atrocity have to be brought to justice and that it!!
Anonymous said…
"The government and the FMLN entered into an agreement which brought to an end a very nasty civil war. The government was given the right to do so by the people of El Salvador. To allow another nation to negate that agreement when they weren't the ones suffering from that war, and so didn't have a vested interest to see that war come to an end, should be an outrage."

Let's see.

1. The agreement to end the war did not include an amnesty. ARENA passed this over the objections of the opposition long after the peace accords had been signed.

2. The Salvadoran people did not give the Salvadoran government the right to amnesty itself, given that a. ARENA was "elected" in the context of widespread repression and intimidation b. the Salvadoran Constitution prevents the sitting government from granting itself an amnesty and c. international law prevents any government from granting amnesties for these crimes.

3. Spain certainly had/has an interest in the peace agreement. Spain sent troops to ONUSAL. Spain provided funds for implementing the peace accords. Spain also participated in diplomatic efforts to bring about the negotiated solution in the first place.
Unknown said…
"The Salvadoran people did not give the Salvadoran government the right to amnesty itself, given that a. ARENA was "elected" in the context of widespread repression and intimidation"

Well, Perhaps we should have a referendum on the Amnesty, lets find out how many of US salvadorans want to keep on opening the festering wounds.

That should finish the whole dastardly affair.

But you are absolutely ignorant of our history and, obviously, were not there for the 1989 elections for president when ARENA first came to power.

Let me tell you of my REAL LIFE EXPERIENCE then. We went to vote, without being pushed to do so. We got up very early before dawn, and made the lines, millions of us, to whom THE FMLN had forbidden to go and vote, and had warned that there would be violence by them to stop voting, and did resort to violence, and did burn public transport units which ran transporting people. The FMLN had decreed an illegal curfew to all public trasnport under the menace of their units being burned.

The people who owned the buses put them out into the street, and whitewashed them completely and covered with newspaper all the colorful signs which gave away the identity of the bus and of the company who owned it.

The drivers wore navarone caps pulled over their faces so that they were not recognized and retaliated against.

All this, while there was a campaign of assasination of elected mayors by the FMLN.

And we went to vote. Even though there were columns of guerrillas atacking the election posts, and the fighting was heard in the distance.

And when the FMLN shot at the lines of voters, we duck behind anything, waited for the attack to subside and guess what? we VOTED.

And ARENA was elected. Freely. Like the FMLN might this time around.

And that is called democracy.

But you are so high and mighty, and think of us as politically immature children, that you DARE to give us directions how to run OUR country.

Not yours.