Catholic World News

Former Salvadoran colonel faces extradition, trial for 1989 murder of six Jesuits

February 05, 2016

A court in North Carolina has approved a request for the extradition of a former Salvadoran army officer, so that he can face trial in Spain on charges connected with the 1989 murder of six Jesuit priests in El Salvador.

The court found that substantial evidence showed that Orlando Montano Morales was "a decision-maker and member of a group of officers who collectively ordered the unlawful killings of Jesuit priests." If the Secretary of State approves, he will be sent to Spain for trial.

Spain-- whose prosecutors have aggressively pursued allegations of human-rights violations in other countries-- had indicted the former Salvadoran army colonel along with nineteen others. Montano, who has lived in the US since the early 2000s, was the only potential defendant who could be extradited to face the Spanish charges. The others, living in El Salvador, are protected by an amnesty that covers participants in the country's civil war.

Montano has insisted that he is innocent of involvement in the Jesuits' murders.

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