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Former El Salvador commander convicted of immigration fraud in Boston

Former Salvadoran Minister of Public Safety, Inocente Orlando Montano, was convicted of immigration fraud on Tuesday and sentenced to 21 months in prison followed by one year of probation. Montano is suspected [CJA case backgrounder] in connection with a conspiracy with other commanders to murder six priests and two others. The case against Montano was brought as immigration fraud and perjury as a result of Montano lying about his role in the incident on his immigration forms, to which he pleaded guilty. Spain has called for Montano's extradition in order to prosecute him for the murders. However, the US Government has not decided [AP report] whether to extradite to Spain. US District Judge Douglas Woodlock noted this immigration proceeding could be a starting point for determining if Montano could be charged with war crimes.

Montano was indicted [text, PDF] in February 2012. In June 2011 Spain indicted [JURIST report] a group of 20 military officials, including Montano, suspected to have taken part in the "Jesuit Massacre." That April, the Obama administration charged [JURIST report] General Eugenio Vides Casanova, former defense minister of El Salvador, for human rights crimes committed during the civil war while he served as the country's top military officer. The US was also seeking to deport [La Pagina report, in Spanish] Vides, who retired in Florida after completing his six-year term as defense minister.

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