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Judge indicts Jesuit-killers

salvador_01Spain’s Judge Velasco has ordered the arrest of 20 military officers (including two former Defence Ministers) from El Salvador for the 1989 killing of six Jesuit priests and two women. The priests, their housekeeper and her daughter were shot dead by soldiers during El Salvador’s civil war. The case was filed using Spain’s universal jurisdiction law, which holds that some crimes are so grave that they can be tried anywhere. The judge said the priests, five of whom were Spanish, had been targeted because they had pushed for negotiations between the government and left-wing rebels. Judge Velasco has ordered the arrest of the men within 10 days, but trials under the universal jurisdiction law have been rare.