U.S. deports retired Salvadoran general linked to civil war atrocities

By Catholic News Service
PALM COAST, Fla. (CNS) — The U.S. government April 8 deported retired Salvadoran Gen. Carlos Eugenio Vides Casanova, a former director of the Salvadoran national guard, to El Salvador.

In early 2014, the U.S. Department of Justice issued a deportation order for Casanova and retired Salvadoran Gen. Jose Guillermo Garcia, the former defense minister, also living in Florida.

Vides was arrested at his home in Palm Coast, which is north of Daytona Beach. He had lived there as a legal resident since 1989.

Vides and Garcia were both accused of human rights abuses during the bloody civil war in El Salvador, which lasted roughly from 1979 to 1992.

More than 75,000 Salvadoran civilians, clergy and missionaries were killed during that era, including Archbishop Oscar Romero and four U.S. churchwomen, Maryknoll Sisters Ita Ford and Maura Clarke, Ursuline Sister Dorothy Kazel and lay volunteer Jean Donovan, in 1980.

In 2002, Vides and Garcia were found guilty in a civil trial for the torture of three Salvadorans, and ordered to pay $54.6 million to the victims.

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