Salvadoran War Criminals Face Deportation from US After Years of Asylum


Two former Salvadoran military generals who were granted US asylum in 1989 face possible deportation following US federal court convictions for grave human rights violations committed during the country’s bloody civil war (1980-1992). The rulings are not only an acknowledgement of the horrific and systemic crimes committed by the Salvadoran State in the 1980s, but also an indictment of the US policy that supported and protected those officials.

Former Minister of Defense Jose García, and former National Guard Director Carlos Vides served from 1979 to 1983, presiding over the state murders of some 40,000-50,000 civilians. After being granted asylum, both settled in Miami, Florida while the US continued to arm, fund and train the Salvadoran armed forces through the end of the war in 1992.

Civilian victims brought separate cases against the generals for crimes of torture and other serious human rights abuses committed under their command. In 2012 a federal judge ordered Vides’s deportation, and García’s deportation was ordered in February 2014; both men have appealed the decisions. The verdicts for Vides and García follow a similar deportation order for former Colonel Inocente Montano, implicated in the infamous massacre of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter in 1989.

For more information, see this article in the Miami New Times.

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Salvadorans, solidarity groups and faith partners gather in September 2023 to decry human rights abuses in El Salvador and continued U.S. support (photo: CISPES)