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US sanctions 13 former El Salvador soldiers for 1989 Jesuit killings
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US sanctions 13 former El Salvador soldiers for 1989 Jesuit killings

The US State Department on Wednesday announced sanctions against 13 former Salvadorian military officials for their involvement in the 1989 killings of eight individuals. The former officials were involved in gross human rights violations when they planned and carried out the extrajudicial execution of six Jesuit priests and two others on the campus of Central American University in El Salvador on November 16, 1989.

The officials were designated under Section 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriation Act 2019. Section 7031(c) states that when the Secretary of State has credible information that current or former foreign government officials have been involved, whether directly or indirectly, with human rights violations or corruption, those individuals and their immediate family members are ineligible for entry into the US.

In its press statement, the State Department said that:

The United States supports the ongoing accountability, reconciliation, and peace efforts in El Salvador. We value our ongoing working relationship with the Salvadoran Armed Forces, but will continue to use all available tools and authorities, as appropriate, to address human rights violations and abuses around the world no matter when they occurred or who perpetrated them. Today’s actions underscore our support for human rights and our commitment to promoting accountability for perpetrators and encouraging reconciliation and a just and lasting peace.