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US Immigration Agents Arrest 19 on Human Rights Violations

FILE - Special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations escort Jorge Sosa, a former Guatemalan army commando, following his extradition from Canada, Los Angeles International Airport, Sept. 2012.

U.S. immigration agents have arrested 19 fugitives sought for human rights violations committed in other countries, Immigration and Customs Enforcement said on Wednesday.

Arrested last week during Operation No Safe Haven, the first nationwide crackdown of its kind, the 19 have outstanding removal orders and are subject to being deported, the agency said in a statement.

Eight of the 19 are also convicted criminals. Those arrested and their home countries were not identified.

They include a West African man implicated in human rights atrocities who had been a member of a revolutionary group that murdered women and children, the statement said.

A second man was from Central America and served in a military unit implicated in human rights atrocities during civil war in the 1980s. Agents who searched his home found a cache of firearms and ammunition, it said.

Another Central American man had served in military and national police units that carried out human rights violations, the statement said.

Since 2004, ICE has arrested more than 270 people for human rights-related violations and deported more than 650 known or suspected human rights violators from the United States, it said.

ICE is pursuing more than 1,800 leads and removal cases involving suspected human rights violators from 97 countries, it said.