Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Ex-Salvadoran general accused of immigration fraud

Yesterday the US brought felony immigration fraud charges against retired Salvadoran general Jose Guillermo Garcia. Garcia was a defendant in one of the most watched cases seeking to have Salvadoran military leaders held accountable for torture and human rights abuses during the civil war, Arce v. Garcia, often known simply as the case of the Salvadoran generals. In 2002 a jury awarded $54.6 million in damages to three victims of torture during the civil war in El Salvador. The federal jury in Miami found that Gens. Carlos Eugenio Vides Casanova and Jose Guillermo Garcia ignored massacres and other acts of brutality against civilians during the war.

This week's charges do not directly have anything to do with the civil torture verdict. According to the charges, Garcia falsely told Salvadoran officials he had lost his passport and requested a replacement. Actually, the passport had been seized by U.S. authorities, the indictment states. Nonetheless, the Center for Justice and Accountability, which spearheaded the torture case against the generals, applauded the indictment as a "great start" for the Obama administration on human rights. The CJA has been advocating that the US should deport the generals after their conviction for being responsible for torture.

7 comments:

john said...

Chief architect of war crimes mass-murders of Salvadorans in the late 1970s and early 1980s U.S. passport removed by U.S. authorities for flight risk in Palm Beach FL, command and control torture trial?

Such irony?! Edwin Corr, Deane Hinton (posthumous), Thomas Pickering, why aren't they weighing in on op-ed pages about the unnecessary further ingnominy for this U.S. bought-and-paid-for killer?!

Elliott Abrams, where are you to point out the injustice for one of your former white-wash clients? Abrams, now apparently out of a job plunging the U.S. into further catastrophe in the Greater Middle East, should return now to the sort of P.R. pimping carried out for Garcia and his side-kick Eugenio Vides Casanova. Abrams successful whitewash of their crimes executed with NYT and WP scribes--among the many others--trooping through San Salvador in the early 80s would seem to demand a reprise.

Don'cha Think?

john said...

Correction to first sentence of above post: A passport issued by El Salvador was removed from General Garcia by U.S. authorities, not a U.S. passport. Sorry.

John

Anonymous said...

A great start for the Obama administration in a new page for Latin American relations, in which USA is no longer willing to be the scapegoat for irresponsible regimes, would be if Obama placed on hold any further aid (INCLUDING the Millenium Funds) to El Salvador, not until an audit to aid given to this country in the past 10-20 years is done. Furthermore, a televised message leaving absolutely clear and beyond any doubt, that his administration is ready and able to have dealings with any regime that either: a) respects democracy, b) has a basic respect for human rights, c) or whatever is the flavor of the day beyond political ideologies. Of course, making a reference to El Salvador, giving the idea that he is in fact watching the going-ons of USA's allies in the region, keeping the region's best interest at heart.

Anonymous said...

In fact, is there a way that the above could be transformed into some kind of formal petition and sent to the necessary authorities to see if it pulls through?

Anonymous said...

Lets see:

The U.S. took the guy's passport away, and he went and got a SALVADORAN passport at a SALVADORAN consulate.

Well, all of us who have gone into the grinding machine of formerly INS, currently ICE, and have had to surrender any document to them, know that once you do that, YOU HAVE LOST YOUR DOCUMENT as these guys will keep it until they feel like it and not care about your personal situations. So the man was not lying in saying, I guess in olde English, that he had lost it.

But being serious about this matter, really has got to make us aware that since he is a resident or a citizen of the US, general garcia has got to be held accountable according to their laws. But, given that I do not know those laws, I tend to think that the US government should have no say in whether a salvadoran citizen has obtained in a salvadoran consulate, protected as consulates may be by international diplomatic immunities, a document that he has all the right to obtain from a consulate of El Salvador.

Ultimately, he did not flee the country and remained in the US during his trial, didnt he?

So why fret?

Yes, I know, because there are tons of human rights lawyers who'd love to make a killing with Garcia.

But you know, few people care now about the crimes comitted by the pharo's army against the hittites. And that was really a terrible thing.

So in 2000 years nobody will care about our dissappeared ones. Not that global warming warms me up for long run predictions...but hey, why loose hope that El Salvador will one will not be a polarized country.

JAJAJAJAJAJJA

Larry said...

Can Spain take him?

Anonymous said...

Can Spain Take Him????

Which spanish court system? Are you refering to the one in the middle of the scandal whereupon Judge Baltazar Garzon cavorts with the now disgraced and out of the cabinet Justice Minister, in weekend long hunting trips, where they plan strategies to wage political war through Baltazar Garzon's human rights court?????

That spanish court system in the midst of a scandal should hand garcia over to Garzon????

You are having faith in the utility of the system for your personal causes, and not a desire of technical justice.

Be serious about it.....jajajajaaj