BY CHRIS KERRJanuary 14, 2013

FORMER SALVADORAN MILITARY OFFICIAL RESPONSIBLE FOR JESUIT MURDERS TO BE SENTENCED

ISN Affirms Efforts of Center for Justice & Accountability

1/14/13 – Former Salvadoran Vice Minister of Defense for Public Security Inocente Orlando Montano, who is also a defendant in the criminal case pending before the Spanish National Court for his role in the Jesuits Massacre, faces sentencing for federal criminal immigration fraud and perjury.  The hearing is scheduled to take place this Tuesday (January 15, 2013) at 9 AM in the Courtroom of the Honorable Douglas P. Woodlock, Joseph Moakley U.S. Courthouse, Boston MA.

Colonel Montano has already pled guilty to six counts of federal immigration fraud and perjury for making false statements on his application for Temporary Protected Status.  It is expected that the sentencing hearing will include evidence related to human rights abuses committed by Montano and troops under his command, including the November 16, 1989 massacre of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter on the campus of the University of Central America.  Montano was a member of the High Command which was responsible for the massacre and the subsequent cover up.

The criminal case for the Jesuits massacre was initiated by the Center for Justice & Accountability (CJA) against the former President of El Salvador and 13 former members of the military responsible for the massacre, including Col. Montano.  The defendants are charged with crimes against humanity and murder.  Indictments, arrest warrants and extradition requests have been issued by the Spanish National Court against the defendants which seek to have them stand trial in Spain for the murders.  The extradition request for Montano is pending before U.S. government officials.

In reacting to the upcoming sentencing, CJA Senior Legal Advisor Carolyn Patty Blum commented, “We are gratified that the Boston U.S. Attorney’s Office so vigorously has pursued federal criminal charges against Col. Montano and has negotiated a successful guilty plea on multiple counts.  The fact that Col. Montano now faces a major stint in a U.S. prison is one part of the search for accountability for his participation in the conspiracy to kill the Jesuits that CJA has been pursuing since 2008.”

Reflecting on the work of the Ignatian Solidarity Network in light of the upcoming sentencing hearing, Christopher Kerr, ISN executive director stated, “I am grateful for the work of the Center for Justice Accountability to bring to justice those responsible for the deaths of the Jesuit martyrs.   I hope the legal proceedings related to the Jesuits can serve as inspiration for all to be partners in working for social justice with those who are oppressed in our world today.  The Jesuit martyrs and their companions are and will continue to be a tremendous witness for the Ignatian family.”

Inspired by the witness of the Salvadoran Jesuit martyrs, ISN has gathered thousands of individuals from Jesuit and partner institutions each year since 2004 for the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice.  The gathering takes place in mid-November as a commemoration of the lives Jesuit martyrs of El Salvador.  The martyrs lives and ministry serve as  inspiration for discovering the injustices of today and how the network might engage them through social action and advocacy.   The 2012 Teach-In occurred in Washington DC from November 16-18, and include passionate keynote addresses from Sr. Simone Cambpell, S.S.S., Rev. Fred Kammer, and a number of students from Jesuit high schools and universities across the country.

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About the Ignatian Solidarity Network:
The Ignatian Solidarity Network (ISN) is a national social justice education and advocacy organization serving Jesuit universities, high schools, parishes, social ministries, and other partner organizations.  ISN’s work is grounded in the spiritual tradition of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits).  To learn more about ISN visit: www.ignatiansolidarity.net