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DOJ releases ruling ordering deportation of former El Salvador general

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] on Friday released a revised ruling [text, PDF] ordering the deportation of former El Salvador General Carlos Eugenio Vides Casanova. The DOJ Executive Office for Immigration Review [official website] issued the ruling in August, ordering the deportation of Vides for crimes against humanity. He is accused of participating in extrajudicial killings during El Salvador's 12-year civil war [PBS backgrounder]. A judge found last April that Vides could be deported [JURIST report] based on the charges leveled against him. The ruling released on Friday confirms the earlier decision and orders Vides' removal from the US to El Salvador.

The Obama administration charged Vides [JURIST report] in April 2012 with human rights crimes and sought to deport him. He had been living in Florida since the conclusion of his term as defense minister in 1988. In 2006, the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit upheld a $55 million verdict [JURIST report] against him and another former Salvadoran general, Jose Guillermo Garcia, in a civil suit for torture and human rights violations. The verdict had previously been thrown out for failure to file within the 10-year statute of limitations but was reinstated because of "extraordinary circumstances." In 2000, however, the US lost in a jury trial [NYT report] when attempting to prosecute Vides and Garcia for the killing of the four American women in 1980. After that case, one juror explained that they did not believe the generals were directly responsible for the killings or that they could have done anything to stop them.

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