US deports El Salvadoran ex-minister | Inquirer News

US deports El Salvadoran ex-minister

/ 09:17 AM January 09, 2016

Jose Guillermo Garcia

In this Oct. 23, 2000 file photo, retired Salvadoran General Jose Guillermo Garcia leaves a federal court in Palm Beach, Florida with an unidentified member of his defense team. Garcia was deported from the United States to El Salvador on Friday, Jan. 8, 2016. Garcia a former defense minister was found guilty of war crimes committed during the 1980’s civil war in El Salvador. AP File Photo

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador—The United States on Friday deported a former Salvadoran defense minister who was accused of human rights crimes during his country’s 1980-1992 civil war.

Jose Guillermo Garcia, 82, was seen arriving at San Salvador’s international airport with 131 other Salvadorans forcibly expelled from America, to cries of “murderer, murderer” from waiting rights activists.


The US embassy in El Salvador informed authorities that Garcia, a retired general who served as minister from 1979 to 1983, was deported after his application to stay in the United States was rejected by an immigration appeals court.


A US judge had signed his deportation order for his role “in the commission of human rights violations during El Salvador’s civil war,” it said.

El Salvador’s military government at the time was backed by the United States in a conflict against leftwing guerrillas who were supported by the Soviet Union and Cuba. More than 75,000 people died in the war and more than 7,000 went missing.

A coordinator for El Salvador’s Human Rights Commission, Miguel Montenegro, told AFP that Garcia was minister when a San Salvador archbishop, Oscar Romero, was murdered during mass in 1980, and when the Salvadoran army massacred 800 people in the village of El Mozote the following year.

“He would have much to confess in court,” Montenegro said.

However that prospect is removed in El Salvador under a 1993 amnesty law pardoning those who committed rights crimes during the civil war.

In April last year, the United States deported another former Salvadoran defense minister from the civil war period, Carlos Eugenio Vides, who was in office from 1984 to 1989.


Other retired Salvadoran military officers also went to America after the war.

A colonel who was minister for public security between 1989 and 1992, Inocente Orlando Montano, is in a US prison serving 21 years for migration fraud and perjury.

Spain is seeking his extradition on accusations of having participated in the murder of seven Salvadoran-Spanish Jesuit priests and two women in 1989.


US deported around 369,000 immigrants in 2013

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US sharply cutting deportations

TAGS: deport, El Salvador, Military, Politics

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