State Department symbolically bars defendants in Jesuit case from entering the US
The US State Department today barred from entry into the United States several former Salvadoran military officers for their involvement in the 1989 massacre of six Jesuit priests, their co-worker and her daughter.
The State Department press release reads in part:
Today, the Department of State is publicly announcing the designation of 13 individuals under Section 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act 2019. This designation is due to their involvement in gross violations of human rights in El Salvador related to the planning and execution of the extrajudicial killings of six Jesuit priests and two others on November 16, 1989 on the campus of Central American University in El Salvador. The United States condemns all human rights abuses that took place on both sides of the brutal civil war in El Salvador, including those committed by governmental and non-governmental parties....
The Department has credible information that the following persons have been involved in gross violations of human rights: Juan Rafael Bustillo, Juan Orlando Zepeda, Inocente Orlando Montano Morales, Francisco Elena Fuentes, Guillermo Alfredo Benavides Moreno, Yusshy René Mendoza Vallecillos, José Ricardo Espinoza Guerra, Gonzalo Guevara Cerritos, Carlos Camilo Hernández Barahona, Oscar Mariano Amaya Grimaldi, Antonio Ramiro Avalos Vargas, Angel Pérez Vásquez, and José Alberto Sierra Ascencio. These 13 former Salvadoran military personnel, ranging in rank from general to private, were involved in the planning and execution of the extrajudicial killings of six Jesuit priests and two others taking refuge at the Jesuit pastoral center on November 16, 1989 on the campus of Central American University in El Salvador.The US State Department decision has only symbolic impact and little practical effect on the lives of these retired Salvadoran military. They were not going to leave El Salvador any time soon because of international warrants for their arrest coming out of the Jesuit massacre case pending in Spain. It does, however, prevent their immediate family members from entering the US as well.