El Salvador news...

El Salvador news...
Shared by a person in Washington D.C.

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the request of Colonel Nicolas Carranza, the former Vice Miniser of Defense, to set aside the judgment we won against him in Memphis, Tennessee in 2005 for torture, assassinations and crimes against humanity. Col. Carranza was also head of the notorious Treasury Police and is widely considered to be one of the primary organizers of El Salvador's death squads.

Carranza contended, in his appeal, that the 1993 Amnesty Law in El Salvador gave him impunity for prosecution even in the U.S. In the original case and in appellate court, our side presented arguments, many in my own testimony, that the amnesty was neither legal nor binding on the U.S. The Supreme Court ruled that the Salvadoran Amnesty was neither legal nor linked to the laws of the United States.> > Carranza will now have to pay at least six million dollars to his victims and their families. He has no other mechanisms of appeal, and his assets have been attached. We hope other consequences, of a precedent-setting nature, will follow.

In other news, the U.S. Department of Justice charged General Jose Guillermo García, the former Minister of Defense of El Salvador, on two counts of immigration fraud. If convicted, García faces up to ten years in prison. To our knowledge, General García is the highest ranking perpetrator to be charged by the U.S. government to date.

General García was a defendant in my first human rights case: Romagoza v. Garcia. He was found responsible for the torture of three CJA clients: Dr. Juan Romagoza Arce, Neris Gonzalez and Carlos Mauricio. In 2006, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the $54.6 million jury verdict in the case. > > Some of General Garica's assets and those of his co-defendant, General Vides Casanova, are now being used to run a health clinic for the poor in El Salvador, headed by Dr. Romagoza.> > It seems a bit odd to go to jail for immigration fraud after being responsible for the murders of thousands, but members of the mafia actually went to jail for tax fraud.

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