27 years after Jesuit murders
Today, November 16, 2016 marks 27 years since elements of the armed forces of El Salvador entered the grounds of the University of Central America and assassinated six Jesuit priests, and under orders to leave no witnesses, they killed the Jesuits' housekeeper and her daughter. Here are the developments on this case in the past year:
- The Constitutional Chamber of El Salvador's Supreme Judicial Court nullified the 1993 Amnesty Law which had been used to justify the lack of legal proceedings in the country.
- The human rights prosecution in Spain against 17 high ranking officers of the Salvadoran military continues, but El Salvador's Supreme Court rejected the request of the Spanish court to extradite the officers to Spain.
- One of the defendants in the Spanish case, Orlando Montano, is in custody in the US for immigration fraud and the US intends to extradite him to Spain so the trial there can proceed. The extradition order is currently being appealed by Montano.
- One year ago Jorge Galán published his book Noviembre, which is part journalism and part historical fiction regarding the events of November 1989. Shortly after the book was published, Galán had to flee the country because of threats. The book gave new momentum to the proceedings in Spain.
- The courts in El Salvador have ruled that Colonel Guillermo Benavides must return to prison to continue serving a 30 year sentence which had been commuted at the time of the Amnesty Law, now that that law has been nullified.
In short, at 27 years, impunity continues for those who ordered the massacre and subsequently covered it up.