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Salvadoran ex-colonel sentenced for immigration fraud

By John Sevigny     Aug 29, 2013 in World
An ex-colonel from El Salvador linked to the 1989 murders of six Jesuit priests has been sentenced to 21 months in prison for immigration fraud in the United States.
Inocente Orlando Montano, who had been living in Boston for a decade, confessed to lying about his background on immigration forms, Updated News reported.
The United Nations believes Montano was among military officials who ordered the murder of the six priests who were working and living at the Universidad Centroamericana (UCA) during El Salvador's 12-year armed conflict, which officially ended in 1992. The victims are now widely known in El Salvador as the "UCA martyrs." Also killed was the priests' housekeeper and young daughter.
Spain wants the United States to extradite Montano to that country to face human-rights charges. The United States has not complied with that request so far, but Montano's imprisonment has given hope to those who want to see him face justice.
The Center for Justice & Accountability praised prosecutors for negotiating the guilty plea and sentence, which was handed down Tuesday.
"Today, we are one step closer to justice for the victims of the massacre," the human rights organization said in a statement on its Web site. "The sentence of 21 months sends a message to human rights abusers that they cannot seek safe haven in the United States and avoid accountability for their actions. Now, the extradition process for the trial in Spain can begin, where Montano will be tried for his role as one of the decision-makers who ordered the 1989 killing of the Jesuits in El Salvador."
The priests, tied to the Theology of Liberation movement, had been outspoken critics of the Salvadoran government for mistreating the poor and committing human rights abuses. Montano was deputy minister of public security at the time of the killings, according to Democracy Now.
More about El Salvador, jesuit murders, Inocente Orlando Montano, Human Rights, Central america
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