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News > El Salvador

Salvadoreans Demand Justice for the Jesuits Murder Case

  • March in remembrance of the assassination of the Jesuit priests, El Salvador, 2018.

    March in remembrance of the assassination of the Jesuit priests, El Salvador, 2018. | Photo: Twitter/ @nacion

Published 16 December 2020

As part of the counterinsurgent operations carried out during the civil war (1979-1992), a military command assassinated six priests and their two assistants.

The Central American University Jose Simeon Cañas (UCA) denounced two judges of the Supreme Court for ruling in favor of the intellectual authors of the murder of six Jesuit priests in 1989.


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The complaint was submitted to the Attorney General's Office (FGR) against judges Jose Roberto Argueta Manzano and Juan Manuel Bolaños who ordered the closure of the Jesuits' case.

The ruling did not take into account "seriously" that the Supreme Court classified the case as a "crime against humanity", a legal type which do not prescribe. 

UCA called upon the FGR to undertake proper legal actions while urging the Parliament to proceed with a pre-trial process against both judges.

Although the Jesuits' case was reopened in 2017, the Supreme Court in September approved three appeals that favored the defendants, among whom is former President Alfredo Cristiani (1989-1994).

The meme reads, "The Valladolid's church hosted the Eucharist for the 31st anniversary of the assassination of the Valladolid Jesuits Segundo Montes and Ignacio Martin-Baro in El Salvador."

If the UCA petition is approved, the Attorney General's Office must ask the Parliament to withdraw the immunity of Argueta and Bolaños.

On 16 November 1989, a squadron of the Army's elite Atlacatl battalion murdered Jesuit priests Ignacio Ellacuria, Segundo Montes, Ignacio Martin-Baro, Amando Lopez, Juan Ramon Moreno, and Joaquin Lopez. Elba Ramos and her daughter Celina were also assassinated.

In addition to Cristiani, Generals Humberto Larios, Juan Bustillo, Francisco Fuentes, Rafael Zepeda, Colonel Inocente Montano, and the late Rene Emilio Ponce were accused of the crimes.

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