Terry Lynn Karl: «Montano extradition affirmed! Trial in Spain should be forthcoming… A personal note».

Terry Lynn Karl, catedrática de Ciencia Política de la Universidad de Stanford (EE. UU.) escribe esta nota tras el anuncio de la autorización de extradición a España del excoronel salvadoreño Inocente Orlando Montano Morales, que tendrá que responder a los cargos de participación en la masacre de los sacerdotes jesuitas en 1989. Terry Lynn ha trabanado como investigadora con el Center For Justice and Accountability en relación a estos asesinatos.


Montano extradition affirmed! Trial in Spain should be forthcoming… A personal note


November 16, 1989: 26 years ago:

After hearing the news that the University of Central America Scholars I respected the most in El Salvador had been murdered, I worked as hard as I have ever worked to see that the peace agreement they had died for would occur.

But, having talked to Father "Nacho" Martín Baro several days before he died to offer three fellowships to Stanford to get out of El Salvador, knowing that their danger was acute (and also knowing that they would not leave), I promised myself that these men would not be another statistic.


Now, 26 years later – after working as the lead investigator and/or expert witness with the Center for Justice and Accountability (with attorneys Patty Blum, Almundena Bernabeu and the University of Central America’s Benjamin Cuellar), the Spanish National Court (with the Honorable Judge Velasco), and the Department of Justice (with DOJ Attorney John Capin) – it looks like the first criminal trial of Salvadoran victims from the civil war in El Salvador. The Jesuits priests and spokespeople for peace were killed by officers of the Salvador Armed Forces, who had been trained in the U. S. and were our country’s brutal allies. The judge upheld John Capin’s legal arguments and our findings of fact, and the ofrmer Vice Minister of Defense should be set to Spain to face trial for the murders of those priests who were Salvadoran citizens.


We know this trial should take place in El Salvador, where an unjust (self) Amnesty Law is still in place. February 1st there was a demonstration demanding that the 17 other indicted military officers be extradited as well. Whe shall see what the Salvador government does.


We also know that one Salvadoran priest who was killed and their housekeeper and young daughter, who were also murdered for seeking safety with them, will not be included in this case because it does not formally extend to Salvadoran citizens. But a trial for these scholars who always supported peace and justice will be at minimum symbolic for thouse thousands and thousands of Salvadoran victimins who were tortured, suffered or died for the same thing. 


What can you do:


– Spread the word, ask the Salvadoran Government if they will extradite.


– Give money: This trial will be expensive.


You can give to Stanford University to support further investigation of the crime and the Stanford team that will be based in Spain: if you give to Stanford, this should go specifically to the Terry Karl Bravo Fund, and be marked for the Jesuit case (contact me for this, tkarl@stanford.edu).


You can give to the Center for Justice and Accountability (see their website but make sure you designate the Jesuit Case and my name).


Thank you for your interest and support during this long search for justice. And special thanks to Benjamin Cuellar, who has persevered these long years as long, or longer, than I have.


Terry Lynn Karl