Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Ex-Guatemalan Commando Guilty of Concealing Role in Massacre

ProPublica reports that a federal jury has convicted a former Guatemalan army lieutenant of immigration fraud, finding that he obtained U.S. citizenship in 2008 by concealing his role in the massacre of 250 men, women and children during Guatemala's civil war three decades ago. The trial, which began last week, is the first in the U.S. involving an atrocity from Guatemala's 30-year civil war. ProPublica's Sebastian Rotella reports that Sosa faces a prison term of at least 10 years, loss of U.S. citizenship and then deportation to Guatemala, where he is charged with murder. He is the highest-ranking former soldier convicted on charges related to the slaughter that wiped out Dos Erres in 1982 -- highlighting how this case has achieved unusual progress as the only mass killing among hundreds from the war where soldiers have been held accountable.

"Although Sosa was convicted of a relatively minor crime, the role of the U.S. government in prosecuting the Dos Erres case reinforces the quest for justice in Guatemala," Rotella writes. "...The judicial and media attention in the United States is also important because powerful sectors in the economic and political elite of Guatemala are resisting efforts to pursue the atrocities of the past." Read the full report here.


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