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Group files lawsuit against Romero assassination accused

A San Francisco-based human rights group filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against a former Salvadoran Air Force officer for his alleged role in the 1980 assassination of Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero.

The suit was filed in the central Californian city of Fresno on behalf of a surviving relative of Archbishop Romero by the Centre for Justice and Accountability and a San Francisco law firm.

It accuses Alvaro Rafael Saravia, whose last known address was in Modesto, California, of playing a key role in the archbishop's assassination.

The archbishop, who headed the San Salvador Archdiocese, was killed on 24 March 1980, while celebrating Mass. He was a strong critic of the military, accusing security forces of human rights violations during El Salvador's civil war, and had asked soldiers to disobey orders to kill innocent people.

The lawsuit alleges that Saravia obtained weapons, vehicles and other materials for purposes of carrying out the assassination and that he provided his personal driver to transport the assassin to and from the chapel where the archbishop was shot and that he also paid the assassin.

Catholic News Service

Centre for Justice and Accountability
US Rights Group Files Suit in Case of Slain Salvadoran Archbishop (Voice of America)
Lawsuit claims Salvadoran living in Modesto complicit in 1980 archbishop assassination (San Josť Mercury News)
Ex-military officer accused in Salvadoran archbishop's death (AP)
Archbishop Oscar Romero Resources
Oscar Arnulfo Romero (1917-1980) Archbishop and Martyr of San Salvador
The UN Truth Commission on Romero's Murder

19 Sep 2003