U.S. Judge Clears Way for Deportation of Former El Salvadoran General for War Crimes
Interview with Patty Blum, senior legal adviser to the Center for Justice and Accountability, conducted by Melinda Tuhus
A U.S. immigration judge last week approved the deportation of Gen. Carlos Eugenio Vides Casanova, who from 1980 to 1989 served as head of El Salvador’s National Guard and later as defense minister during the nation’s bloody civil war, when tens of thousands of Salvadoran civilians were murdered and many were tortured. On Feb. 23, Judge James Grim, of Orlando, Fla.’s Immigration Court found Vides Casanova liable for acts of torture and murder committed by soldiers under his command, including the rape and murder of four American church women in December 1980. At the time, Washington was supporting the Salvadoran government’s war against the FMLN leftist guerilla movement. In deciding the case, the judge cleared the way for the former general’s deportation from the U.S.