1 October, 2022

First Salvadoran military man sentenced to jail internationally

photo VD: Milagro Orellana.
By Teresa Alvarado

The Spanish National Court sentenced 133 years and four months in prison for the former Deputy Minister of Public Security of El Salvador, to Colonel Inocente Montano, for the murder of five Jesuits in 1989, among these the priest Ignacio Ellacuría.

The Second Section of the Criminal Chamber identified the former Vice Minister Montano as the author of five terrorist murders, of the religious Ignacio Ellacuría, Ignacio Martin-Baro, Second Montes Mozo, Armando López Quintana and Juan Ramón Moreno Pardo, the night of 15 al 16 November 1989 at the José Simeón Cañas Central American University (UCA) for each of the deaths he was given a penalty of 26 years, 8 months and a day in prison.

Likewise, the magistrates considered, that Montano was the author of the murders of Joaquín López y López, Jesuit of Salvadoran origin, as well as Julia Elba Ramos who worked as a cook and her daughter Celina Ramos from 15 years, who were executed along with the religious, but nevertheless, these cases were not included in the conviction, because when the extradition to the United States was given it was not for the aforementioned crimes.

Colonel Montano was one of the graduates of the Salvadoran Army Military Academy of Officers of the year 1966 and it belonged to “la tandona”, a group named this way because it was the largest class, powerful and cohesive of the Armed Forces, He was also part of the “inner circle” of power of “la tandona” and participated in decision-making.

The ruling states that the former Deputy Minister of Public Security, Inocente Montano was at the meeting of the high officials of the army in which he was ordered to kill Father Ellacuría and leave no witnesses, the order was carried out by a unit of the Atlacatl battalion.

According to the court, the facts are notoriously treacherous, from the moment the accused, as a member of the decision-making nucleus, resided in the High Command of the Armed Forces, participated in the decision to order the colonel director of the Military School to go to the residence of the UCA at dawn, where the victims lived, in order to "proceed against them" , that is to say, “Execute both Ignacio Ellacuría and those who were in the place, no matter who it was, so that there would be no witnesses to the events.

The massacre took place within the framework of the offensive launched by the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front against the Salvadoran army in 1989 when El Salvador lived in an armed conflict that lasted more than 10 years.

photo VD: Milagro Orellana.
photo VD: Milagro Orellana.