Arrests and Extraditions to Spain for El Salvador’s Former Military Elite Accused of 1989 Jesuit Killings

By Megan Abbot

Police in El Salvador have begun to arrest former military officers accused in the killing of six Jesuit priests during the country’s civil war.  The murders of the Jesuits occurred in 1989, and it is presumed that the priests were killed by the regime as they attempted to broker a peace agreement that might have been too sympathetic to the guerillas.  Since 1989, an amnesty had prevented domestic prosecutions, but families of the victims now seek justice in Spain through their law of universal jurisdiction, since five of the priests were Spanish.  Elisabeth Malkin reports for the New York Times that after the US extradited one of the accused to Spain, police in El Salvador have undertaken raids to arrest several of the others accused.