A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

US judge sentences Guatemala peasant massacre suspect to 10 years

A federal judge on Thursday sentenced a South Florida man to 10 years in prison and revoked his citizenship for concealing his involvement in a Guatemalan peasant massacre on his US immigration forms. Authorities claimed that Gilberto Jordan committed naturalization fraud [Reuters report] by concealing his military service and involvement in Guatemala's December 1982 massacre in the village of Dos Erres, which left as many as 162 dead. Jordan pleaded guilty to the charge of naturalization fraud in July. The 10-year sentence is the maximum penalty under US law. Human rights activists representing the relatives of those massacred at Dos Erres are seeking Jordan's extradition to Guatemala.

Jordan was arrested [JURIST report] by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) [official website] agents in May after he was accused of involvement in the 1982 massacre. He is suspected of being one of 20 Guatemalan special forces soldiers known as "Kaibiles" who killed men, women and children in Dos Erres during Guatemala's civil war. ICE Assistant Secretary John Morton said, "[t]hose who commit human rights abuses abroad cannot subvert US immigration laws in order to take shelter in the United States. We are firmly committed to denying human rights abusers entrance into this country, weeding out those that are already here, and will enforce this US government policy of no safe haven for human rights violators."

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.