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Canada Under Pressure to Try Alleged Guatemalan War Criminal

November 29, 2011 By Staff

Today in Latin America

Top Story —  A survivor of a 1982 massacre of hundreds of Guatemalan men, women and children is asking the Canadian government  to try alleged war criminal Jorge Sosa Orantes in Canada instead of extraditing him to the United States. Ramiro Cristales, a Guatemalan immigrant living in Canada, said Monday that he witnessed members of Sosa’s military unit terrorize and murder his parents, siblings, and hundreds of others in the village of Dos Erres in a notorious massacre that took place during the height of Guatemala’s bloody civil war. The 53-year old Sosa, who holds Guatemalan, U.S. and Canadian citizenship, denies that he was involved in the murders. Sosa was arrested in Canada in January for lying on a U.S. citizenship application and would be tried only for immigration violations in the U.S., not for the crimes he is accused of committing in Guatemala.  Lawyers Without Borders and the Canadian Centre for International Justice are asking Canada’s Federal Immigration Minister Jason Kenney to deny the U.S. extradition request and allow Sosa to remain in Canada, where he could be prosecuted for crimes against humanity. Mass graves containing the remains of at least 162 people were unearthed in Dos Erres in 1994.

Read more from the AP.


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  • A 13-year old boy allegedly kidnapped by members of the Zetas drug cartel in the Mexican state of Chiapas last month was rescued by Guatemalan police, Interior Minister Carlos Menocal announced Monday.
  • The U.S. has twice denied a visa to a 7 year-old Salvadoran girl who wants to enter the United States to donate bone marrow for her sister, a U.S. citizen who lives in New Jersey and has leukemia.

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