Accessibility links

Breaking News

Spanish Judge Indicts 20 Salvadoran Soldiers in 1989 Murders

The clothing of the six Jesuits who were killed during El Salvador's 1980-1992 civil war are exhibited at the Museum of the Central American University in San Salvador, (File)

A Spanish judge has issued international arrest warrants for 20 Salvadoran military officials in connection with the 1989 slayings of eight people, including six Jesuit priests.

Soldiers killed the priests, five of them Spaniards, along with their housekeeper and her daughter in November of 1989 during El Salvador's civil war.

The priests were suspected of sympathizing with leftist rebels fighting the right-wing government.

Spain's judiciary has investigated alleged human rights abuses in Latin America, Africa and Asia, the most famous of which was Judge Baltasar Garzon's attempt to extradite former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.

The high-profile judge uses the principle of universal jurisdiction to bring such cases to trial. He also brought a case against terrorist Osama bin Laden and opened an investigation into civil war crimes under the late Spanish dictator Francisco Franco.

Spain's National Court indicted Garzon for overstepping his jurisdiction with that investigation. The judge took his case to the European Court of Human Rights in March.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.