Salvadoran Judge Drops Jesuits Case
A Salvadoran judge has decided not to try ex-President Alfredo Cristiani and six generals in the killings of six Jesuit priests in 1989.
Justice Ana Rodriguez ruled Tuesday night that it was too late to pursue the case. The statute of limitations to pursue criminal cases under Salvadoran law is 10 years.
"Although it has been said that I was pressured (to rule a certain way), my decision adheres completely to the law," Rodriguez said.
The Jesuit community of Central America University, where the priests worked and which filed the lawsuit, said it would appeal. One of the priests recently said the case might be brought to a Spanish tribunal.
The priests, five Spaniards and a Salvadoran, were shot to death by an army commando unit along with their housekeeper and her daughter on 16 November 1989, during the country's 12-year civil war. The priests reportedly were targeted for their writings, among other reasons, at a time when Catholic lay and religious workers were speaking out against the US-backed Salvadoran government.