Judge May Find Saravia Involved in El Salvador Arch Bishops Assassination
A federal judge is expected to decide Friday if a former Modesto businessman played a role in the assassination of a civil rights leader in El Salvador more than two-decades ago.
Thursday, September 2, 2004
A civil lawsuit charges that Alvaro Saravia organized the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero in El Salvador in 1980. Romero was one of some 75 thousand Salvadorians killed by so-called death squads, according to human rights organizations. Saravia was a ranking officer in the Salvadorian Air Force at the time of the Archbishop’s death. The suit was filed last year by an unnamed relative of Romero. Attorney Nico van Aelstyn represents the relative and says Saravia could face deportation or criminal charges if the judge finds he’s responsible for Romero’s death. vAN AELSTYN :10—Those could actions by the Department of Homeland Security concerning his immigration status, or possibly criminal prosecution by the government of El Salvador. Four days of hearings were held in U-S District Court in Fresno last month, but no defense was made for Saravia, who is in hiding. Court records show the one-time used car dealer moved to a middle-class Modesto neighborhood in the mid-19-90’s and left right after the lawsuit was filed. Bob Hensley KXJZ News.