Thursday, May 6, 2010

Guatemalan Suspected in 1982 Massacre Arrested in Florida

Federal agents arrested Gilberto Jordán in Palm Beach County, Florida on Wednesday for suspicion of lying on citizenship paperwork processed years ago.

Normally that sort of charge wouldn't make headlines, but Jordán is no normal ICE case. It is suspected that he was one of the members of Guatemala's elite Kaibiles unit who massacred 217 civilians in the village of Las Dos Erres.

The massacre was one of the worst in the 35-year-long Guatemalan Civil War. From the Miami Herald article reporting details of his arrest:

In a chilling interview Tuesday with ICE special agents, Jordán, now 54, "readily admitted that he threw a baby into the well and participated in killing people at Dos Erres, as well as bringing them to the well where they were killed,'' according to an affidavit filed with the criminal complaint.

Two other former Kaibiles who currently reside in the US, Jorge Vinicio Sosa-Orantes Pedro Pimentel-Rios, are also being sought on similar grounds.

The Kaibiles were and are a highly skilled jungle warfare group with a dubious human rights record. More recently, several Kaibiles have joined ranks with the violent Los Zetas organization - originally a force protection group for the Gulf Cartel who are now operating more independently in the Mexican drug arena.

It remains unclear whether there will be additional charges against Jordán besides the immigration violation - a charge that could lead to 10 years in prison and revocation of his naturalized US citizenship.

Image Source: Global Post - "The wood boxes that once contained the victims' remains decomposed long ago, leaving bundles of bones, boots and clothes."
Online Sources: Miami Herald, NY Times,, Wikipedia, Sun-Sentinel

No comments: