The Center for Justice and Accountability announced today that a judge in Spain has agreed to initiate prosecution of in the case of the 1989 murder of the six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter:
Madrid January 13, 2009 – Today, the Judge of the 6th Chamber of the Spanish National Court agreed to initiate a criminal prosecution in the “Jesuits Massacre,” a crime which has gone unpunished for nineteen years, in which members of the Salvadoran military murdered six priests, their housekeeper and her 16-year-old daughter. Fourteen former officers, including General Ponce, Head of the Armed Forces Joint Chiefs of Staff, and General Rafael Humberto Larios, former Minister of Defense, are now formally charged with crimes against humanity and state terrorism for their role in the massacre. Additionally the Judge reserved the right, during the course of the investigation, to indict former Salvadoran President and Commander of the Armed Forces Alfredo Cristiani for his role in covering up the crime.
The case was filed by the San Francisco-based Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA) and by the Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos en España (APDHE), a Spanish human rights association, on November 13, 2008. “The Judge's prompt action underscores the importance of this case not only for the families of the victims and the people of El Salvador but for the cause of human rights accountability around the globe,” said CJA Executive Director, Pamela Merchant. “We look forward to a successful prosecution of all of those responsible for this heinous act.”