Wednesday, July 07, 2010

More developments in Jesuits case in Spain

A Spanish court has heard new testimony from a witness about the 1989 Jesuit murders. Spanish newspapers, citing sources close to the proceedings, revealed that the witness testified about participation at the highest levels of the Salvadoran military in the November 1989 murder of the six Jesuit priests at the University of Central America, their housekeeper and her daughter. The witness, whose name was not disclosed, is said to be a former military officer. His testimony reportedly indicated, as has generally been assumed, that the planning of the Jesuits murder happened at the highest levels of the Salvadoran military. The bombshell revelation was that the witness apparently testified that president Alfredo Cristiani had advance knowledge of the assassinations and approved them. Previously Cristiani had only been accused of participating in a cover-up of the crime. The witness also testified that following the massacre he took a satchel full of various belongings of the Jesuits to the military headquarters, where his superior officer called President Cristiani to apprise him of the event.

The proceedings in Spain were initiated by family members of the slain Jesuits backed by lawyers of the Center for Justice and Accountability. Several of the murdered priests were Spanish, and the court has proceeded to exercise jurisdiction over these allegations of violations of human rights / crimes against humanity. Up to this point, the Spanish court has not found that Cristiani was an appropriate figure for prosecution, but the recent testimony could lead the judge to add Cristiani to the other 14 military defendants.

No court in El Salvador has ever been willing to judge the culpability of these high ranking officers and the former president. In fact, Benjamin Cuellar, the head of the Human Rights Institute at the University of Central America has stated that the Supreme Court of El Salvador has been resisting cooperation with the proceedings in Spain.

Cristiani of the right wing ARENA party was president of El Salvador from 1989-1994. He is the current head of ARENA following that party's loss of the presidency to the FMLN in 2009.

Link to article in Spanish paper El Mundo with more about the recent testimony in the proceedings.

3 comments:

Lawrence M. Ladutke said...

And in another SHOCKING revelation, D'Aubuisson may have had something to do with the Romero assassination! Furthermore, Hitler may have been involved in the Holocaust.

Who knew?

李志吉 said...

It takes all kinds to make a world.............................................................

3943f882-8bcc-11e0-a277-000f20980440 said...

In Santa Barbara, CA where I was living in Nov 1989, the entire ecumenical community participated in a candle-lit procession from one church to another to commemorate the death of the Jesuits. I cried in the churches and temples the entire evening as I was feeling so helpless about the situation.

Graciela Limon wrote an award-winning novel, IN SEARCH OF BERNABE (Houston: Arte Publico Press 2003), that features important information on one American individual's involvement in the sale of the the guns that killed the Jesuits. Read it, everyone. We in the US need to be aware of how we were (in)directly involved with the massacre of the Jesuits and other Salvadoreans in the 1980s.