Plotter in Jesuit Slayings Sentenced

Image courtesy LAC Press

An ex-Salvadoran colonel accused of helping plot the murder of Jesuit priests during the country’s civil conflict in 1989 will spend the next 21 months in a U.S. federal prison, followed by a year of supervised release, for immigration-related convictions. Inocente Orlando Montano, now 70, pled guilty to three counts of immigration fraud and three counts of perjury and was sentenced on Aug. 27 by U.S. District Judge Douglas Woodlock. Twenty years ago a United Nations commission said Montano participated in a meeting that planned the assassination of a priest accused of supporting rebels and that this led to the killing of six Jesuits, their housekeeper and her daughter. In 2001 Spanish authorities indicted Montano, the former vice minister of public security, for his alleged role in the killings. The United States has not yet responded to the extradition request from Spain. Carolyn Patty Blum of the Center for Justice and Accountability, which is involved in seeking his prosecution in Spain, said the sentence represented “a huge step forward to be incarcerating him for anything.” Montano has denied any involvement in killing priests. He expressed sorrow for the death of the Jesuits, adding: “Those individuals, in spite of their liberal mentality, were helping a lot in the peace process.”

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