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25 Years After El Salvador Priest Killings, Groups Press For Justice
by Juan CastilloNBC News
November 13th, 2014
CJA sends a delegation to El Salvador to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Jesuits Massacre and discuss its case before the Spanish National Court.
Laying Out a Case for Deporting Human Rights Abusers
by Clyde HabermanThe New York Times
November 9th, 2014
With the publication of the Retro Report documentary about the killing of four American churchwomen in El Salvador during the 1980s, Clyde Haberman discusses Salvadoran human rights abusers who sought haven in the U.S. and CJA's casework.
Bringing El Salvador Nun Killers to Justice
by Raymond BonnerThe Daily Beast
November 9th, 2014
The Daily Beast discusses CJA's case against two Salvadoran ex-generals currently living in the United States as it looks back on the tragic killing of four American churchwomen.
The US Faces a Moment of Truth on Torture
by Alice SperiVice News
November 1st, 2014
Vice News discusses CJA's letter to US officials calling on them to break away from the previous administration's "intellectually dishonest" reading of the torture treaty.
Case against Jean-Claude ‘Baby Doc’ Duvalier continues even after death
by Jacqueline CharlesMiami Herald
October 30th, 2014
A Haiti investigative judge assigned to look into allegations of corruption and crimes against humanity by former President-for-Life Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier is continuing to pursue the case despite Duvalier’s death.
Obama White House Considers Adopting Bush Era Policy Allowing Torture Overseas
by Melinda TuhusBetween the Lines
October 29th, 2014
Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with CJA Legal Director Kathy Roberts, who discusses her concern about a current debate on torture within the Obama administration that could revive the Bush administration interpretation that the U.S. government had the option of engaging in cruel,inhuman or degrading treatment of prisoners it holds abroad.
Clients' resilience bolsters lawyer's human rights work
by Mary Jo McConahayNational Catholic Reporter
October 11th, 2014
A profile on Pamela Merchant and her work with CJA over the past nine years. From the landmark Supreme Court case Samantar v. Yousuf to CJA’s current case against one of the alleged perpetrators of Víctor Jara’s death, writer Mary Jo McConahay traces Merchant’s impact on the organization and her dogged pursuit of justice for victims of human rights abuses.
Spain court upholds jurisdiction in 1989 El Salvador massacre case
by Alison SacriponteJurist
October 7th, 2014
The Criminal Chambers of the Spanish National Court decided unanimously Monday that Spain has jurisdiction to investigate the November 16, 1989, massacre of the Jesuits at the Central American University and their two employees as a crime against humanity after a reversal of legislation that had prevented Spanish jurisdiction over international crimes.
After death of Jean-Claude ‘Baby Doc’ Duvalier, calls for justice remain in Haiti
by Jim Wyss and Jacqueline CharlesThe Miami Herald
October 4th, 2014
When Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier made a surprising return to Haiti in 2011 after a quarter-century in exile, some hoped the aging dictator would finally have to answer for the abuses of his regime. Instead, as one human rights activist said after news of Duvalier’s death on Saturday, he “cheated justice.”
Audiencia Nacional española ordena que el caso jesuitas se investigue como crimen contra la humanidad
by Gabriel LabradorEl Faro
October 3rd, 2014
Hace siete meses una reforma en España obligó al juez que ventila la causa contra los asesinos de los jesuitas a que solo los investigara por terrorismo y no por crimen de lesa humanidad, como originalmente el mismo juez lo había calificado.
Sainthood isn't Enough for Salvadoran Archbishop Óscar Romero
by Mary Jo McConahayLos Angeles Times
September 5th, 2014
In 2003, CJA filed a lawsuit against former Salvadoran Air Force captain Alvaro Saravia for his role in the assassination of Archbishop Óscar Romero. Although we obtained a judgment against him in a U.S. District Court for crimes against humanity, Saravia fled and is now in hiding. In this beautiful op-ed, Mary Jo McConahay explains why Archbishop Romero deserves justice as much as sainthood.
Cambodia Verdicts Send a "Warning to War Criminals"
by Amanda BronstadThe National Law Journal
August 7th, 2014
CJA Staff Attorney Nushin Sarkarati represents Khmer Rouge victims before the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. Sarkarati talked to The National Law Journal about the court’s decision to sentence two senior Khmer Rouge officials to life imprisonment.
Miles Away and Years On, Cambodians Relish Verdict
by Amy TaxinAssociated Press
August 7th, 2014
CJA client Sophany Bay and CJA Staff Attorney Nushin Sarkarati react to verdict for Case 002/1 against senior officials from the Khmer Rouge regime.
Khmer Rouge Verdicts Offer Bittersweet Relief to SoCal Cambodians
by Josie HuangKPCC
August 7th, 2014
Decades after the rule of Cambodia's Khmer Rouge ended, a U.N.-backed war crimes tribunal sentenced two top leaders of the former regime to life in prison on war crimes charges for their roles during the country's 1970s terror. CJA Staff Attorney Nushin Sarkarati comments on the verdict.
Cambodians in California Give Testimony on Khmer Rouge for Tribunal
by Josie HuangNPR
August 1st, 2014
Thirty-five years after the Khmer Rouge regime terrorized Cambodia, judgements are coming for two former senior officials charged with war crimes.
Local Cambodians Give Testimony, Await Khmer Rouge Verdict
by Josie HuangKPCC
July 25th, 2014
CJA attorney Nushin Sarkarati talks about the importance of testimonies from the Cambodian diaspora for Khmer Rouge trials.
Human Rights Group Donating Records to Duke Library
The Herald-Sun
July 17th, 2014
CJA, a human rights group involved in lawsuits against alleged leaders of genocide in Guatemala and other countries, is donating records to the Human Rights Archive at Duke’s David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
Two Salvadoran Generals Ordered Deported for Civil War Torture
by Trevor BachMiami New Times
June 12th, 2014
The memories are etched in Melecia del Carmen Casco's face. They show in the deep, thin lines that run across her caramel-colored forehead and in the prominent half-star patterns that surround her small brown eyes. Casco wears a turquoise cotton shirt with matching earrings. Her silver hair is pulled into a tight bun. In the green hills above El Salvador's Lake Suchitlán, she sits in front of her simple home next to a table with a basket full of warm tortillas as her teenage grandson lounges in a nearby hammock. And she begins to remember.
US Encouraging Refugees To Help Human Rights Cases
by Eric TuckerNPR
May 12th, 2014
ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — The Ethiopian jail guard suspected of torturing and maiming political prisoners during that country's "Red Terror" era came to the United States in 2004 under a false identity, seeking asylum and claiming he would be persecuted if he returned home.
Fallo Revive Debate de Amnistía en El Salvador
by Gisela Salomon (Associated Press)el Nuevo Herald
April 28th, 2014
El fallo de un juez de inmigración de Miami generó esperanzas de que se allane el camino de abolición de una ley de amnistía en El Salvador, para que los militares y los responsables de matanzas, torturas y violaciones a los derechos humanos puedan finalmente ser juzgados en su país.
El Salvador: Will General Jose Guillermo Garcia be deported?
by W. Alejandro SanchezVoxxi
April 15th, 2014
The ruling of a Miami judge to deport Army General Jose Guillermo Garcia, a former defense minister of El Salvador, serves as a victory for human rights supporters, despite the difficulties to implement the rule anytime soon.
Salvadoran General Accused in Killings Should Be Deported, Miami Judge Says
by Julia PrestonThe New York Times
April 11th, 2014
An immigration judge has found that a former defense minister in El Salvador, a close ally of the United States during a civil war there in the 1980s, should be deported because of his involvement in a number of human rights violations, including the assassination of an archbishop and the massacre of more than 1,000 peasants.
Pamela Merchant KQED Interview with Joshua Johnson
by Joshua JohnsonKQED
April 10th, 2014
Executive Director Pamela Merchant discusses the Center for Justice & Accountability's work with Joshua Johnson of KQED.
Psychology Association's Torture Link Fails "Do-No-Harm" Ethics
by Roy Eidelson and Trudy BondTruthout
March 7th, 2014
After seven years, the American Psychological Association recently decided to close an ethics case against a Guantanamo psychologist without taking disciplinary action. This is not merely an isolated story about a single individual's reprieve from accountability.
Guatemalan Ex-Commando Loses U.S. Citizenship, Gets Jail Term for Massacre
by Tim JohnsonMcClatchy DC
February 10th, 2014
A federal judge in California on Monday revoked the U.S. citizenship of a former Guatemalan special forces officer and sentenced him to a maximum 10-year prison term for deceiving U.S. immigration officials and covering up his role in a 1982 massacre of 250 villagers in Guatemala, one of the worst atrocities in modern times in Latin America.
Salvadoran Cites U.S. Backing of Violence in Deportation Appeal
by Lalita ClozelLos Angeles Times
February 6th, 2014
A former Salvadoran general accused of overseeing the torture and killing of thousands of civilians during a 12-year civil war appealed a U.S. deportation order Thursday on the grounds that his nation's anti-communist campaign was backed and funded by the American government.
Ex-Salvadoran General Appeals Deportation Order
by Matthew BarakatAssociated Press
February 6th, 2014
Vides Casanova, who was El Salvador's defense minister, has been living in Florida since immigrating in 1989. In 2012, an immigration judge ruled that he could be deported for his role in multiple acts of killings and torture committed by the Salvadoran military, including the slayings of three American nuns and a lay churchwoman in 1980.
Investigating Genocide in Somaliland
by James ReinlAl Jazeera
February 6th, 2014
They say as many as 200,000 men, women and children were executed and buried in mass graves in 1980s Somaliland. They accuse Somalia's late dictator, Mohamed Siad Barre, of atrocities and want to put his alleged henchmen on trial.
U.S. Psychology Body Declines to Rebuke Member in Gitmo Torture Case
by Spencer AckermanThe Guardian
January 22nd, 2014
America’s professional association of psychologists has quietly declined to rebuke one of its members, a retired US army reserve officer, for his role in one of the most brutal interrogations known to have to taken place at Guantánamo Bay, the Guardian has learned.
Reclaman Extradición de ex Militar Chileno Acusado de Asesinar a Cantante Víctor Jara
by Paula BustamanteEl Nuevo Herald
September 11th, 2013
Activistas de derechos humanos en Estados Unidos reclaman la extradición del ex oficial del Ejército chileno Pedro Pablo Barrientos, acusado como uno de los autores del asesinato del cantante Víctor Jara ocurrido en 1973, mientras abogados del artista ya lo ubicaron en Florida.
Ex-Pinochet Lieutenant Living Quietly in Florida Faces Civil Lawsuit from Family of Chilean Poet 'Brutally Tortured and Killed in Country's Military Coup 40 Years Ago'
by Louise BoyleDaily Mail
September 10th, 2013
Victor Jara's family have filed a civil lawsuit accusing former Chilean army Lt. Pedro Barrientos Nunez of ordering soldiers to torture Jara. The suit claims that Barrientos fired the fatal shot while playing a game of 'Russian roulette' inside a locker room in Santiago’s Estadio Chile, where some 5,000 supporters of socialist President Salvador Allende were being detained.
Chile 40 years after the September 11, 1973 coup
by Elena KlaverHemispheres
September 10th, 2013
Tonight Hemispheres commemorates the 40th anniversary of the US-backed coup in Chile that brought to power a ruthless dictator, Agusto Pinochet, whose regime killed and disappeared thousands of Chileans during his dictatorship. We wll hear from Almudena Bernabeu, International Attorney & Transitional Justice Program Director at the Center for Justice and Accountability.
Agony of Chile's Dark Days Continues as Murdered Poet's Wife Fights for Justice
by Jonathan Watts and Jonathan Franklin The Guardian
September 10th, 2013
It is not the only quest for justice in Chile that dates back to the dark days, weeks and years following General Augusto Pinochet's ousting of socialist president Salvador Allende. Thousands were executed or made to disappear, and thousands more tortured after the CIA-backed military takeover. But Jara – folk-singer, theatre director and cultural ambassador of the Allende government – remains arguably the best-known victim and a potent symbol of a nation still struggling to find peace with itself more than two decades since the return of democracy.
40 Years After Chile Coup, Family of Slain Singer Víctor Jara Sues Alleged Killer in U.S. Court
Democracy Now!
September 9th, 2013
This week marks the 40th anniversary of what’s known as the other 9/11: September 11, 1973, when a U.S.-backed military coup ousted Chile’s democratically elected president Salvador Allende and ushered in a 17-year repressive dictatorship led by General Augusto Pinochet. We’re joined by Joan Jara, the widow of Chilean singer Víctor Jara, who has just filed a civil lawsuit in U.S. court against the former military officer who allegedly killed Jara 40 years ago. Jara’s accused killer, Pedro Barrientos, has lived in the United States for roughly two decades and is now a U.S. citizen. Jara’s family is suing him under federal laws that allow U.S. courts to hear about human rights abuses committed abroad. Last year, Chilean prosecutors charged Barrientos and another officer with Jara’s murder, naming six others as accomplices.
Anniversary of Chilean Coup Brings Renewed Calls for Justice
by Mimi Whitefield Miami Herald
September 9th, 2013
Four decades after Jara’s death, a civil lawsuit has been filed in federal court in Jacksonville, claiming that Pedro Pablo Barrientos Nuñez — a man now living in Florida — is responsible for those events as well as the torture of Jara in the days after the democratically elected Marxist President Salvador Allende was toppled and a military dictatorship installed.
Family of Víctor Jara Turns From Chile to U.S. in Quest for Justice
by Charlotte Karrlsson-Willis The Santiago Times
September 6th, 2013
Thousands of miles from where Víctor Jara was murdered, the battle to bring his killers to justice is now making its way to U.S. courts as the family sues Pedro Barrientos, a former military officer living in Florida, for: “torture; extrajudicial killing; cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment; crimes against humanity and arbitrary detention.”
Family of Slain Chilean Folk Artist Victor Jara Says Deltona Man to Blame for His Execution
by Amy PavukOrlando Sentinel
September 5th, 2013
The surviving family of well-known Chilean folk artist Victor Jara, who was tortured and killed in a military coup in 1973, has filed a federal lawsuit against the army lieutenant accused of leading the execution — who has been quietly living in Central Florida. Jara's widow and children accuse Pedro Pablo Barrientos Nunez of Deltona of carrying out a host of violations including crimes against humanity and torture.
Ex Chilean Officer Living in Deltona Sued in Murder of Folk Singer
by Patricio G. BalonaThe Daytona Beach News-Journal
September 5th, 2013
A former Chilean army lieutenant now living in Deltona and accused of torturing and killing a folk singer during the dictatorship of Chile's President Augusto Pinochet should pay for the slaying, according to a federal lawsuit filed in Florida this week by the singer's family. The lawsuit comes as Chilean officials prepare to submit an order from that country's Supreme Court requesting the extradition of Deltona resident Pedro Pablo Barrientos to Chile.
Florida Man Sued Over Pinochet-Era Murder of Chilean Folk Singer
by Javiera Quiroga Bloomberg News
September 5th, 2013
Musician Victor Jara’s family has sued a retired Chilean army officer who lives in Florida for allegedly torturing and killing the folk singer and political activist after a military coup four decades ago. The Center for Justice and Accountability, or CJA, and Chadbourne & Parke, LLP filed the civil lawsuit on behalf of Jara’s family in a Florida district court.
Family Sues over Murder of Folk Singer by Pinochet Regime
by Benedict ManderThe Financial Times
September 5th, 2013
A lawsuit was filed in Florida on Thursday seeking damages against a former Chilean military officer accused of torturing and executing the folk singer Víctor Jara shortly after General Augusto Pinochet’s 1973 military coup.
Family of Chilean Singer Executed in 1973 Files Suit in Florida
by Kevin GrayReuters
September 5th, 2013
The wife and two daughters of a popular folk singer who was tortured and executed in Chile days after a 1973 coup has filed a lawsuit in U.S. federal court against a former Chilean army officer - now an American citizen - they accuse of carrying out the killing.
Family of Slain Chilean Singer Victor Jara Seeks Justice in U.S.
by Mariano CastilloCNN
September 5th, 2013
The family of Victor Jara, the famous Chilean folk singer who was among the first victims of the country's military coup in 1973, has filed a lawsuit in Florida against the former army officer it alleges killed him. The killing happened 40 years ago, and it wasn't until last year that a Chilean judge charged eight former army officers with the singer-songwriter's death. One of those indicted, Pedro Barrientos, has lived in Florida since the early 1990s. That is where Jara's family filed the lawsuit Wednesday in Jacksonville.
Víctor Jara: Familia Demandó en EEUU a Supuesto Asesino
Nation.cl
September 5th, 2013
Acción judicial fue presentada en un tribunal de Florida en contra el ex oficial de Ejército Pedro Barrientos Núñez (en la foto), procesado en Chile como autor material del homicidio del artista. Familia espera que demanda ayude en la extradición solicitada por la justicia chilena.
Family of Slain Chilean Folk Singer Files Suit in Florida
by Pascale BonnefoyThe New York Times
September 5th, 2013
A former Chilean Army officer charged with murdering Víctor Jara, a popular folk singer, shortly after the 1973 military coup has been sued in a Florida court under federal laws allowing legal action against human rights violators living in the United States.
Family of Chilean Singer Slain During Coup Files Suit in Florida
by Chris KraulLos Angeles Times
September 5th, 2013
The family of folk singer Victor Jara, one of the best known of the more than 4,000 people who were killed and disappeared in the Sept. 11, 1973 coup in Chile, filed a civil suit Wednesday against one of his alleged killers, a former Chilean army lieutenant now living in Florida.
Former Chile Officer Sued in Florida for Torture Death of Folk Singer Victor Jara in 1973 Coup
by Frederick Bernas And Luis Andres Henao (Associated Press)Washington Post
September 5th, 2013
The family of Victor Jara claims to have solved the 40-year-old mystery of who killed the revered folk singer during Chile’s 1973 coup, and they’re preparing to prove it in a federal courtroom in Jacksonville, Florida, invoking rarely used U.S. laws that address human rights violations committed elsewhere.
Ex-Salvadoran Commander Suspected in Priests' Killings Jailed in U.S.
by Tracy WilkinsonLos Angeles Times
August 28th, 2013
The long quest to bring the Salvadoran military killers of six Jesuit priests to justice has received a significant boost, human rights activists say, with the sentencing of a former commander -- on unrelated charges in a faraway Boston court.
Ex-Salvadoran Colonel Gets U.S. Prison Sentence
by Bridget MurphyABC News
August 28th, 2013
Human rights advocates called it a step toward justice Tuesday when a federal judge in Boston sentenced a Salvadoran ex-colonel to prison on separate charges as Spain attempts to prosecute him for war crimes during his country's civil conflict.
Violaciones a Derechos Humanos Envían a Prisión a Coronel Montano
by Gabriel LabradorEl Faro
August 27th, 2013
Aunque fue juzgado por fraude migratorio y perjurio en Estados Unidos, el exviceministro de Seguridad se convirtió en el primer militar salvadoreño cuya vinculación a violaciones a los derechos humanos pesó para que lo enviaran a prisión. Montano deberá cumplir 21 meses de cárcel, a la que entrará el 11 de octubre para esperar el curso del pedido de extradición a España, donde es procesado por el asesinato de los sacerdotes jesuitas.
Ex-Salvadoran Military Leader Sentencing Continues
by Bridget Murphy (Associated Press)ABC News
August 26th, 2013
A federal judge presiding over the immigration case of a former Salvadoran military colonel wants to know more about the status of Spain's request for the United States government to hand over the defendant for a war crimes trial.
Lectura de Sentencia Contra Coronel Montano se Pospone Para este Martes
by Gabriel LabradorEl Faro
August 26th, 2013
Los testigos en el juicio por fraude migratorio contra el exviceministro de Seguridad Pública salvadoreño terminaron de rendir sus declaraciones este lunes, en Boston, Estados Unidos. La lectura de la sentencia se pospuso para este martes y los querellantes esperan que abra el camino para tramitar la extradición pedida por España por el asesinato de los sacerdotes jesuitas en 1989.
EUA Acusa a Testigo de Coronel Montano de Ser También un Violador de los Derechos Humanos
by Gabriel LabradorEl Faro
August 22nd, 2013
Este jueves inició la audiencia para sentenciar el exviceministro de Seguridad salvadoreño, acusado en Estados Unidos por fraude migratorio, y requerido en España por el asesinato de los sacerdotes jesuitas. La defensa presenta como testigo de descargo al general Mauricio Vargas, a quien el gobierno estadounidense descalifica acusándolo de ser él, también, un violador de derechos humanos.
Ex-Salvadoran military colonel's sentencing begins
by Bridget MurphyBoston Herald
August 22nd, 2013
A federal judge weighing punishment for a former El Salvador military leader on immigration charges heard testimony Thursday about allegations the defendant committed war crimes before coming to the United States.
Inicia Audiencia Contra Inocente Montano por Fraude Migratorio
by Héctor Silva ÁvalosLa Prensa Grafica
August 22nd, 2013
Al inicio de la audiencia, la defensa del coronel interrogó a la profesora Terry Karl de Stanford, testigo del Gobierno de Estados Unidos. Esta mañana se instaló en Boston la audiencia en contra de Inocente Orlando Montano, por fraude migratorio y perjurio.
El Salvador Colonel Faces Jail Time in U.S.
by Nina LakhaniAlJazeera
August 22nd, 2013
Colonel Montano may have continued living unnoticed in a Boston suburb, working in a sweets factory, if it weren't for the Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA), which filed a criminal complaint in Spain against him for the massacre of the Jesuits, five of whom were Spanish citizens. Montano was brought to the attention of the US government after the CJA filed a criminal complaint in Spain against him for the Jesuits massacre (five of the priests were Spanish).
Will Col. Inocente Orlando Montano face criminal trial?
by Nina LakhaniBBC News
August 20th, 2013
The commander of one of El Salvador's notorious death squads, active during the 1979-92 civil war, could soon become the first top-ranking Salvadoran officer to face trial for murder. But if so, he will be tried in Spain, not his own country, where an amnesty protects even those guilty of atrocities against civilians.
Ex-Somali Colonel Told to Pay $15M in Torture Case
by Regina Garcia Cano (Associated Press)ABC News
August 20th, 2013
Federal Judge Mark Abel awarded the compensation to Abukar Hassan Ahmed, who in a 2010 lawsuit said he endured months of torture in the 1980s during interrogations in Somalia. A judge had previously ruled that the former colonel, Abdi Aden Magan, was responsible for the torture
Judgment in Somalia Human Rights Case Deemed 'Historic'
by Kathy Lynn GrayThe Columbus Dispatch
August 20th, 2013
A federal magistrate in Columbus has recommended that a former Somali colonel pay a human-rights activist he tortured in Somalia $15 million in damages. Human-rights supporters are hailing the judgment as historic.
Audiencia Para Dictar Sentencia Contra Coronel Montano
by Héctor Silva ÁvalosLa Prensa Grafica
August 20th, 2013
El futuro inmediato de Inocente Orlando Montano pasa por una corte de Massachusetts, EUA, que el jueves decidirá si lo manda a la cárcel por fraude migratorio y perjurio. Lo que sigue es la solicitud de extradición de España por la masacre de los sacerdotes jesuitas.
Salvadoran Indicted in Priest Slayings to Face Separate U.S. Immigration Sentencing
by Bridget Murphy (Associated Press) Washington Post
August 17th, 2013
Inocente Orlando Montano is expected to stand for federal sentencing on immigration charges next week in Boston, yet it could be the former El Salvadoran military colonel’s alleged war crimes and not his lies on U.S. immigration forms that take center stage.
How a Documentary Changed Guatemala’s History
by Samuel BurkeCNN
Most documentaries record and preserve history–only a few change the arc of history. In Guatemala in the early 1980s, a young American documentary filmmaker named Pamela Yates bore witness to massive crimes and atrocities at great personal risk to make her film. This year, a quarter-century later, her footage became critical evidence used to convict a military dictator of genocide.
“If You Tell Them, You Will Be Killed”: Civil Parties’ Stories Heard
by Mary Kozlovski Cambodia Trial Monitor
June 4th, 2013
A fourth victim impact hearing was held in Case 002 at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. Civil party lawyers questioned their clients, while prosecutors and defense attorneys had limited time to examine them on the facts in Case 002. The civil parties who testified on Tuesday were Cambodian-American Bay Sophany, Soeun Sovandy, and Seng Sivutha.
Somali Torture Victim Who Sued Former Ohio Resident Relieved After Winning Day in Court
by Andrew Welsh-HugginsThe Washington Post
June 4th, 2013
Torture victim Abukar Hassan Ahmed was living in London when he decided several years ago to search again for the man he says crippled him during interrogations in Somalia in the 1980s. It took just a half-hour Internet search in 2005 to locate the former government official then living in Ohio. Ahmed finally got the chance to tell his story in court last week after a federal judge ruled in his favor in a lawsuit against the official, Abdi Aden Magan.
Somali Torture Survivor Finally Has His Day in Court
May 30th, 2013
Today, in a federal court in Ohio, CJA client Professor Abukar Ahmed testified about his torture and unlawful detention during the brutal Siad Barre regime in Somalia. The defendant, Colonel Magan, was head of the notorious NSS Department of Investigations which was widely known to inflict psychological terror and physical torture against political prisoners and civilians. For press on the testimony click here, for a press release click here and for more on the case click here.
Inside the Historic Genocide Trial of a Guatemalan Dictator
by Genevieve JenkinsAlternet
May 28th, 2013
The milestones achieved by the prosecution of Rios Montt significantly elevated Guatemala and its system of justice in the eyes of the international human rights community. This trial did not come easily to the Guatemalan courts, and did not proceed smoothly once it got there. Nevertheless, the successful prosecution was hailed by international observers and human rights groups as a major victory for justice--until the guilty verdict was overturned by the Constitutional Court in a 3-2 decision only 10 days after it was delivered.
Pasado Alcanza a Militar Salvadoreño en Boston
by Liz Mineo (Associated Press)El Nuevo Herald
May 17th, 2013
Montano hoy enfrenta un proceso en una corte federal en Boston por haber mentido en sus formularios migratorios y ocultado información sobre su trayectoria militar durante la guerra civil salvadoreña (1980-1992). Montano será sentenciado en las próximas semanas por esos delitos, pero un crimen de guerra, por el que ha sido acusado en un tribunal de España, juega un papel central en el juicio de Boston.
Guatemala: Las Víctimas del Genocidio
by Ofelia De Pablo y Javier ZuritaEl País
April 14th, 2013
Guatemala juzga por primera vez en la historia el crimen de genocidio cometido durante el conflicto armado interno que asoló el país durante 36 años. Con la excusa de luchar contra la guerrilla, más de 200.000 personas, en su mayoría de origen maya, fueron masacradas entre 1960 y 1996 fruto de un minucioso plan elaborado por el ejército. Uno de los principales artífices de las matanzas, el ex presidente, el general Efraín Ríos Montt, está siendo finalmente juzgado por estos crímenes.
U.S. Justice Dept. Releases Judge’s Ruling on Ex-Salvadoran General
by Julia Preston and Randal C. ArchiboldThe New York Times
April 11th, 2013
The Justice Department has released a United States immigration judge’s ruling ordering the deportation of a former high-ranking Salvadoran military officer over his role in the 1980 rape and murder of four American churchwomen and other crimes there.
Guatemala's First Female Attorney General Takes On Country's Biggest Criminals
by Carrie KahnNPR
March 29th, 2013
The first female Attorney General of Guatemala is taking on some of the country's most powerful kingpins, past dictators and local crime bosses. She's lowered the Central American nation's high crime rate and brought justice for victims of the 36 year old civil war. Dr. Paz y Paz will be receiving the 2013 Judith Lee Stronach Human Rights Award at CJA's 15th Anniversary Dinner.
Ríos Montt and Guatemala’s Genocide Trial
by Jill ReploglePublic Radio International
March 20th, 2013
General Ríos Montt’s congressional term ended in January 2012. Two weeks later, he was indicted for genocide in his home country. Guatemala’s 36-year-long civil war was one of the bloodiest and most vicious of modern times, pitting state security forces and their allies against leftist rebels. By the war’s end in 1996, and in a country one-fourth the size of California, more than 200,000 people were killed or disappeared.
Former Guatemalan Strongman Stands Trial For Genocide
by Jill ReplogleFronteras
March 19th, 2013
More than 200,000 people were killed or disappeared in Guatemala's 36-year-long civil war. It was one of the bloodiest and most vicious of modern times. But one period was especially brutal, the one in which General Efraín Rios Montt was in charge.
In Effort to Try Dictator, Guatemala Shows New Judicial Might
by Elisabeth MalkinThe New York Times
March 18th, 2013
A judge had just ruled that the military dictator, Gen. Efraín Ríos Montt, now 86, should stand trial for genocide and crimes against humanity committed under his rule in the 1980s, a decision Mr. Utuy and other Maya survivors of Guatemala’s 34-year civil war had gathered in the courtroom to hear in person.
The Trial of Efrain Rios Montt & Jose Mauricio Rodriguez
by Emi MacLeanthe Open Society Justice Initiative
March 17th, 2013
March 19, sees the scheduled start date for the oral phase of the trial on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity against Rios Montt and Rodriguez Sanchez. They are accused of being the intellectual authors of the assassination of 1,771 indigenous Mayans of Ixil ethnicity in the Quiche Department, the forced displacement of 29,000, and sexual violations and torture, in massacres and violations perpetrated by the Guatemalan military during Rios Montt’s 17-month rule between 1982 and 1983.
Khmer Rouge: Death of 'Killing Fields' Defendant Ieng Sary During Trial for Cambodia's Genocide Dismays Bay Area Survivors
by John BoudreauMercury News
March 14th, 2013
Bay Area survivors of Cambodia's genocide are dismayed with Thursday's death of a Khmer Rouge leader before he could face justice at the hands of an international tribunal for his role in the deaths of an estimated 1.7 million Cambodians in the 1970s.
Genocide on Trial in Guatemala, Setting Model for Region
by Mary Jo McConahayNational Catholic Reporter
March 4th, 2013
For the first time in history a former head of state, Guatemala's Gen. Efraín Ríos Montt, is on trial for genocide in the country where the crime occurred. Two hundred thousand died over 36 years of armed conflict in the Central American nation, mostly Maya indigenous noncombatants at government hands. The unfolding judicial process has global repercussions, strengthening possibilities for prosecution of other prominent human rights cases.
General Says He Could Not Stop Human Rights Abuses
by Gisela Salomon (Associated Press)The Maimi Herald
February 27th, 2013
A former El Salvador defense minister admitted responsibility for military abuses against civilians during his country's civil war on Wednesday, saying he could not stop human rights violations because of divisions within the armed forces.
Retoma el Juicio de Deportación del Exministro Salvadoreño García Merino
QUE!
February 26th, 2013
El juicio para la deportación del exministro de Defensa de El Salvador José Guillermo García Merino se retomó hoy al norte de Miami (EE.UU.) con tres sesiones previstas esta semana para la declaración de los testigos más importantes.
Former Salvadoran General Denies Role in Abuses
by Christine Armario (Associated Press)San Francisco Chronicle
February 26th, 2013
A former Central American general took the stand in his own defense at a deportation hearing on Tuesday, saying he did not commit or order any acts of torture or extrajudicial killings during El Salvador's brutal civil war.
Guatemala Lucha Contra la Impunidad
by Ana López DelgadoHEMISFERIO ZERO
February 25th, 2013
El próximo 19 de marzo Efraín Ríos Montt rendirá cuentas ante la justicia guatemalteca por actos de genocidio. Guatemala está dividida y es que a pesar de todas las pruebas presentadas para demostrar la culpabilidad de Ríos Montt en la matanza de más de 1.700 mayas indígenas ixiles entre 1982 y 1983, muchos continúan negando esa parte de la historia.
Ex-Dictator Is Ordered to Trial in Guatemalan War Crimes Case
by Elizabeth MalkinThe New York Times
January 28th, 2013
A Guatemalan judge ordered Efraín Rios Montt, the former dictator, and his intelligence chief to stand trial on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity in connection with the massacres of villagers in remote highlands three decades ago.
Ex-Salvadoran Military Officer Accused in Jesuit Killings Gets Immigration Sentencing Delay
by Bridget Murphy Daily Journal (Associated Press)
January 15th, 2013
Human rights advocates claimed a victory after a federal judge in Boston said he would consider a former El Salvadoran military colonel's alleged war crimes before sentencing him on separate immigration charges.
Médico Testifica en Juicio de General Salvadoreño, Dice Que Presenció Masacres
by Alfonso Chardyel Nuevo Herald
December 12th, 2012
Un médico salvadoreño declaró el miércoles en la corte de inmigración de Miami que presenció masacres, atendió a victimas de torturas y sufrió torturas él mismo cuando el ex general José Guillermo García era ministro de la Defensa en El Salvador.
Ex Embajador de EEUU Testifica Contra Ex General Salvadoreño
by Alfonso Chardyel Nuevo Herald
December 11th, 2012
El ex embajador de Estados Unidos en El Salvador declaró el martes en la corte de inmigración de Miami que varias veces le solicitó al entonces ministro salvadoreño de Defensa, José Guillermo García, que despidiera o castigara a los militares que cometían atrocidades pero que éste nunca mostró interés en hacer nada.
Inicia Juicio de Deportación de Ex General Salvadoreño en Tribunal de EE.UU.
by Agencia EFETerra
December 10th, 2012
El juicio sobre la posible deportación del exministro de Defensa de El Salvador José Guillermo García Merino, acusado en su país de participar en actos de tortura y violaciones a los derechos humanos durante la guerra civil (1980-1992), se inició hoy en un tribunal de Estados Unidos.
Almudena Bernabéu la Mujer que Nunca Pierde la Sonrisa
by Elena MandacenMujer Glamour
Dejó Valencia para defender causas de justicia internacional desde su despacho en San Francisco. Esta abogada de 40 años viaja de Siria a Guatemala; de El Salvador a Madrid, en busca de un mundo mejor para todos.
City Man Liable in Torture Lawsuit
by Mark FerenchikThe Columbus Dispatch
November 21st, 2012
A federal judge has found a former Somali colonel who lives in Columbus liable for torturing a human-rights attorney more than two decades ago before a brutal civil war fractured his country.
US Judge: Somali Colonel Responsible for Torture
by Andrew Welsh-HugginsWashington Post (Associated Press)
November 20th, 2012
A former military colonel with a Somali security force dubbed the “Gestapo of Somalia” by its critics was responsible for the torture of a human rights advocate in the 1980s, a federal judge ruled Tuesday in a decision that opens the door for a hearing on potential financial damages.
Holding Salvadoran War Criminals Accountable: The Massacre at University of Central America, San Salvador, 1989
by Kate Hayden and Frederick B. MillsCouncil on Hemispheric Affairs
November 15th, 2012
This essay will examine some new developments in the case of one of the most notorious war crimes committed by the Salvadoran security forces during the twelve year long civil war: the massacre on the campus of the José Simeón Cañas University of Central America (UCA) in San Salvador on November 16, 1989. This is an immensely important issue because it could begin to balance the dialectic between impunity and accountability to the side of accountability. For the first time, a high-ranking army officer may soon be tried for this crime.
No Immunity for Somali Leader Who Tortured
by Lorraine BaileyCourthouse News Service
November 7th, 2012
There is no possibility of immunity for the former Somali prime minister who conceded liability over the mass killing and torture of his people, the 4th Circuit ruled.
4th Circuit Again Denies Immunity in Samantar
by Kathy RobertsIntLawGrrls
November 6th, 2012
In a landmark decision, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has denied Samantar's appeal in the first case to consider the "common law immunity" of foreign officials. The decision denies immunity for human rights abuses like torture and extrajudicial killing and denies absolute deference to the executive branch.
Medical Professionals Who Torture
by Steve Reisner and Kathy RobertsCounterpunch
September 21st, 2012
In the history of state-sponsored torture, a rarely acknowledged truth is that accountability only takes place in countries where the torturing government has fallen from power. Victors tend neither to acknowledge nor to hold themselves accountable for torture.
Salvadoran convicted of immigration fraud
by Milton J. ValenciaThe Boston Globe
September 11th, 2012
Inocente Orlando Montano pleaded guilty in federal court to lying to immigration authorities so that he could stay in the United States, a development that could aid Spanish authorities who are seeking to have him extradited to that country, to face charges that amount to war crimes.
Salvadoran accused in killings of 6 Jesuit priests admits he lied to US immigration officials
by Denise LavoieWashington Post (Associated Press)
September 11th, 2012
A former El Salvadoran military official accused of colluding in the 1989 slayings of six Jesuit priests admitted that he lied to U.S. immigration officials, a guilty plea that could allow him to be extradited to Spain for prosecution in the killings.
Radio France Internationale interview with CJA Staff Attorney Kathy Roberts
Radio France Internationale
August 30th, 2012
Radio France Internationale interview with CJA Staff Attorney Kathy Roberts about the historic judgment in the Yousuf v. Samantar case. This judgment marks the first time that any Somali government official has been held accountable for the atrocities perpetrated under the Siad Barre regime.
KCBS radio interview with CJA Staff Attorney Kathy Roberts
KCBS
August 30th, 2012
CJA Staff Attorney Kathy Roberts discusses the $21 million dollar judgment in Yousuf v. Samantar with KCBS radio.
Ex-Somali PM Samantar ordered to pay torture damages
BBC News
August 29th, 2012
A US court has ordered former Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Ali Samantar to pay $21m (£13m) to seven Somalis who accused him of torture and killings.
Ex-Somali PM Ordered to Pay Plaintiffs in War Crimes Case
by Peter HeinleinVoice of America
August 29th, 2012
A U.S. court has ordered a former Somali prime minister to pay $21 million to victims of torture and human rights abuses while he was in office.
Ex‐Somali PM must pay $21 million for Alleged torture: U.S. court
Chicago Tribune (Reuters)
August 28th, 2012
A former Somali prime minister denied diplomatic immunity must pay $21 million in damages to the victims of his alleged torture and human rights abuse, a U.S. federal court ruled.
Judge awards $21 million in torture lawsuit against former Somali prime minister Samantar
by Matthew BarakatThe Washington Post (Associated Press)
August 28th, 2012
A U.S. judge on Tuesday awarded $21 million to seven people who sued a former prime minister of Somalia now living in Virginia, claiming he tortured and killed his own people more than two decades ago.
CJA Attorney Almudena Bernabeu Wins YO DONA International Award
June 20th, 2012
On June 20 in Madrid, Spain, YO DONA magazine announced that Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA) attorney Almudena Bernabeu was the 2012 recipient of its prestigious International Award for Professional Work.