Guatemala: US sentences ex-soldier for 1982 massacre

On Sept. 16 Miami federal district judge William Zloch sentenced former Guatemalan soldier Gilberto Jordán to 10 years in prison for concealing his role in a 1982 massacre when he applied for US citizenship. Jordán, a member of the notorious Kaibil counterinsurgency force, is one of 14 soldiers wanted in Guatemala for the brutal murder of some 250 campesinos in the village of Las Dos Erres, Sayaxche (or Libertad), in the northern department of Peten. He moved to Miami in 1990 and became a US citizen in 1999. Arrested by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency on May 5 this year, he pleaded guilty in July to charges of lying on a citizenship application. Ten years is the maximum sentence for the offense.

Guatemala’s government human rights prosecutor Aura Marina Mancilla said that in August she made an initial application with Guatemalan courts for an extradition request so that Jordán could be tried in Guatemala. (Reuters, Sept. 16; Argenpress, Argentina, Sept. 17, from Cerigua, Guatemala) The Dos Erres massacre was part of a massive counterinsurgency campaign in the 1980s that was unofficially backed by the US government.

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, Sept. 19.

See our last posts on Guatemala and Central America.

  1. perusing the American dream legally

    We are normally so welcoming in this country that if he would have came forward this would all be over with for him by now and he would be perusing the American dream legally. I wonder what happens after the 10 years, will he still be a citizen or will he be deported?

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    1. Please check definition of “peruse”
      From Merriam-Webster:

      1 a : to examine or consider with attention and in detail : study
      b : to look over or through in a casual or cursory manner
      2: read; especially : to read over in an attentive or leisurely manner