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News > Spain

Salvadoran Ex-Colonel Sentenced to Jail Over Priests' Massacre

  • Journalists at the hearing against Inocente Montano, Spain, Sept. 11, 2020.

    Journalists at the hearing against Inocente Montano, Spain, Sept. 11, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 11 September 2020

Inocente Montano was accused of ordering the murder of five Jesuits during the civil war.

Spain's High Court Friday sentenced Salvadoran former colonel Inocente Montano to 133 years in prison for the murder of five Spanish Jesuit priests in 1989.


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Montano, 77, was accused of "terrorism" before the justice system for being responsible for planning and ordering the killings of the Jesuits during El Salvador's civil war.

He was the only Salvadoran officer judged for the five crimes, for which he must serve compulsorily 30 years in prison, out of the 133 years he was sentenced to.

Among the murdered were the Central American University (UCA) rector Ignacio Ellacuria, and the priests Segundo Montes, Ignacio Martin-Baro, Armando Lopez, and Juan Moreno.

Spain's High Court also accused Montano of the murder of another Salvadoran Jesuit, the university cook, and her 15-year-old daughter.

On November 16, 1989, an elite soldiers' commando executed the priests on the university campus.

"The eight murders were coordinated by El Salvador's Armed Forces when Montano was vice minister of that institution," the High Court stated.

In 2017, Montano was deported from the U.S. to Spain, where he was arrested for murder and crimes against humanity.

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