Advertisement

Spain Sentences Ex-Colonel For Jesuits Slain In El Salvador

Inocente Orlando Montano attends a trial in Madrid, Spain, on June 8, 2020. (Kiko Huesca, EFE/Pool Photo via AP)
Inocente Orlando Montano attends a trial in Madrid, Spain, on June 8, 2020. (Kiko Huesca, EFE/Pool Photo via AP)

A court in Spain on Friday sentenced a former Salvadoran colonel to 133 years in prison for the slaying of five Spanish priests in El Salvador more than three decades ago.

Spain's National Court ruled that Inocente Orlando Montano, a former colonel who served as El Salvador's vice minister for public security during the country's 1979-1992 civil war, was responsible for the 1989 "terrorist assassinations."

Montano, 77, listened from a wheelchair as judges read the verdict, imprisoning him to 26 years, eight months and one day for each of the deaths. The verdict can be appealed.

The U.S. extradited Montano to Spain in 2017. He had been living in Everett, Massachusetts, for years. During his trial earlier this year, Montano denied having taken part or ordered the massacre that led to the death of eight people in the campus of the Central American University.

Five of the victims were Spanish Jesuit priests, including one of the leading minds behind the so-called Liberation theology, Rev. Ignacio Ellacuria.

Former Massachusetts Congressman Joseph Moakley, along with his then-aide, Congressman Jim McGovern, were part of an investigation in 1990 that concluded the Salvadoran army was responsible for the murders.

On Friday, McGovern said, "Today’s historic verdict by the Spanish National Court is a true turning point in the fight against injustice and impunity in El Salvador. For the victims of these terrible human rights crimes, justice cannot be denied."

With additional reporting by WBUR's Newscast Unit

Related:

Advertisement

More from WBUR

Listen Live
Close