Saturday, March 21, 2015

The confession of one of Rutilio Grande's killers

Memorial at the site of the assassination of Rutilio Grande
The online periodical ContraPunto yesterday published an interview with Julio Sánchez, a member of El Salvador's National Guard, who admitted to his participation in the 1977 assassination of Father Rutilio Grande, a Jesuit priest.  Here is an English translation of a short portion of the interview:
What happened on March 12, 1977, when they ambushed the Father Rutilio Grande? 
"There were orders we received directly from the director of the National Guard (General Ramon Alfredo Alvarenga served as director general of the National Guard from 1975 to 1978).  We were selected as eight members of the guard; I was not in charge of the operation.  I think we were six or eight (members of the guard) that were selected to fulfill the mission." 
Did you know who you were going to kill? - I asked him, looking in his eyes for an honest answer, Julio repeatedly moves his hands and head due to Parkinson's disease.  
"We had been instructed to eliminate the priest, because he was a communist, he was raising up the peasants, and spoke ill of the government," he concludes agitated....
How was he ambushed? Where were you waiting? Were you dressed in civilian clothes or uniforms?  
"We were going plainclothes, but a few miles before, elements of the guard elements were uniformed. They informed us that the car was heading toward us, so we waited in the street, and when it appeared we opened fire, opened fire all at the same time from different points in the road.  I saw the car go off to the side and we continued shooting." 
 Read the rest (in Spanish) here.  Sanchez died earlier this year in a hospital in Los Angeles.


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