Monday, September 24, 2012

Guatemalan Massacre Survivor Granted Asylum

From ProPublica:

ProPublica's Sebastian Rotella reports that a man who survived a Guatemalan massacre that left 250 people dead and moved to the U.S., was granted political asylum on Saturday and may remain in America.

ProPublica and This American Life reported on the story of Oscar Ramírez Castañeda earlier this year, explaining how he had been abducted as a 3-year-old boy by an officer in a commando unit that wiped out all of the residents in the small village of Dos Erres, Guatemala.  Ramírez Castañeda, who was too young to remember what happened, was raised by the commando's family and then left Guatemala to move to America.  Guatemalan prosecutors eventually found Ramírez Castañeda and used his DNA as evidence to help convict five soldiers who participated in the massacre.  And last Friday, another suspect was extradicted to the U.S. on immigration charges related to the case.

"The development opens a panorama of opportunities to Ramírez Castañeda afer 14 years of living in the shadows in the United States," writes Rotella.  "The U.S. government's decision to grant asylum status to Ramírez Castañeda ratifies his claim that he could be in danger of persecution in Guatemala.  He is living proof of a crime carried out by a military that retains great power in a nation racked by lawlessness and corruption."

Ramírez Castañeda's wife also received asylum status.  Read the full story here - We hope you'll check these new developments out and share them with your readers.


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