Spain imprisons ex-colonel for Jesuits slain in El Salvador

International
Inocente Orlando Montano

FILE – In this Aug. 22, 2013 file photo, former El Salvadoran military Col. Inocente Orlando Montano departs federal court, in Boston. Spain’s National Court on Friday Sept. 11, 2020, has condemned the former Salvadoran colonel to 133 years in prison for the slaying of five Spanish priests in El Salvador more than three decades ago. They ruled that Inocente Orlando Montano, a former colonel who served as El Salvador’s vice minister for public security during the country’s 1979-1992 civil war, was responsible for the 1989 “terrorist assassinations.” (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

MADRID (AP) — A court in Spain on Friday sentenced a former Salvadoran colonel to 133 years in prison for the slaying of five Spanish priests in El Salvador more than three decades ago.

Spain’s National Court ruled that Inocente Orlando Montano, a former colonel who served as El Salvador’s vice minister for public security during the country’s 1979-1992 civil war, was responsible for the 1989 “terrorist assassinations.”

Montano, 77, listened from a wheelchair as judges read the verdict, imprisoning him to 26 years, eight months and one day for each of the deaths. The verdict can be appealed.

The U.S. extradited Montano to Spain in 2017. During his trial earlier this year, Montano denied having taken part or ordered the massacre that led to the death of eight people in the campus of the Central American University.

Five of the victims were Spanish Jesuit priests, including one of the leading minds behind the so-called Liberation theology, Rev. Ignacio Ellacuría.

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