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  HOME | Central America

Salvadoran Court Hands Down Sentence in Jesuits’ Murders

SAN SALVADOR – A Salvadoran court on Thursday handed down the first sentence regarding crimes committed during the country’s armed conflict after more than 20 years of amnesty, sentencing a soldier to 30 years behind bars for the massacre of six Jesuit priests in 1989, a court spokesman said.

Retired Col. Guillermo Benavides was originally convicted in 1992 for the deaths of the priests, five of whom were Spaniards, along with two staff members, but he only served 14 months of the sentence before being released after the promulgation of the General Amnesty Law in 1993.

Benavides had been taken into police custody on Feb. 5, 2015, when authorities arrested him along with three other men involved in the massacre, out of a total of 17 retired soldiers who are being sought by Spain’s Audiencia Nacional court.

 

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