Former El Salvador Colonel Sentenced to Prison for Murder of Five Jesuits in 1989

9/15/2020

Spain’s National Court announced on Friday that the former colonel and deputy minister, Orlando Montano Morales, has been sentenced to 133 years and four months in prison on charges of murder of five Jesuits in 1989.

The murders occurred in 1989 when Orlando Montano was Deputy Minister for Public Security amidst El Salvador’s civil war. During the internal armed conflict between government forces and the guerrillas of the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front, more than 75,000 people were tortured, extrajudicially executed, or forcibly disappeared according to an Amnesty International report. The civil war lasted for more than 10 years.

The court found Morales guilty on five charges of “murder of a terrorist nature” and sentenced him to 28 years, eight months, and one day for each murder. Erika Guevara Rosas, Director Amnesty International said, “This historic ruling is an important step in the search for justice that has been denied to the victims of the armed conflict in El Salvador. It’s also a reminder of the enormous debt that the Salvadoran state owes in ensuring truth, justice, and reparation.”

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