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South American war crimes suspects arrested in US for immigration violations

[JURIST] US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) [official website] Tuesday announced the arrests of three former South American military officials suspected of war atrocities in their home countries. Ernesto Guillermo Barreiro [Desaparecidos profile] is a former Argentine military officer accused of having served as the chief interrogator at La Perla [IPS report], a clandestine prison during Argentina's 1976-83 Dirty War [Global Security backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. Telmo Ricardo Hurtado and Juan Manuel Rivera-Rondon are former members of the Peruvian military accused of participating in the 1985 Accomarca massacre [AP file report]. Sixty-nine civilians died during the incident when Peruvian state forces raided a village in search of Shining Path guerrillas [FAS backgrounder].

The three men were arrested in Virginia, Maryland and Miami for violating US immigration laws. Hurtado was arrested in Miami for making false statements on his visa application; he had failed to report his 1993 convictions in Peru for two crimes in connection with the Accomarca massacre. Hurtado was pardoned by Peru, as was Barreiro, who was arrested in Argentina in 1987. Peru has had an extradition request for Hurtado since 2005. ICE stated its plans to deport all three to their countries of origin. Reuters has more. AP has additional coverage.

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