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Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Court finds Archbishop Oscar Romero's assassin guilty
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 More than a week after the in absentia trial of former Salvadorean military captain, Álvaro Rafael Saravia, Judge Oliver Wanger ruled on Friday that the accused man was liable for the killing of Archbishop Oscar Romero. Judge Wanger also awarded ten million dollars in damages to a relative of Romero. Local media reported that the Fresno federal courthouse erupted into tears, handshakes, hugs and chants of 'Romero presente' (Romero is present) when the verdict was delivered. The case was filed by the human rights group Center for Justice and Accountability on the behalf of the plaintiff, whose identity has been kept secret for fear of retaliation. Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe LLP offered its services pro bono. "It's an honour to be part of this human rights case," said Nicholas van Aelstyn, an attorney with the law firm. "I'm proud to have helped make a contribution. We didn't do it for the money or the fame, but for those who suffered. We did for those who are now with us and others who are not. I've come to appreciated 'el dolor' (the pain and sorrow)." Saravia was the right-hand man of death squad leader Roberto D'Aubuisson, who days before Romero was killed went on national television in El Salvador threatening the archbishop. D'Aubuisson died of cancer in 1992. Testimony throughout the trial named Saravia as a key player. He must be found before monetary damages can be awarded. This landmark case means that others who took part in the atrocities in El Salvador may now be sued. Use the ICN Search facility for earlier stories on Archbishop Oscar Romero
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