As reported in previous posts, there have been many legal developments relating to the participation in the 1989 Salvadoran murders of the six Jesuits priests and their housekeeper and her daughter by now former Salvadoran Colonel Guillermo Alfredo Benavides Moreno, then the Director of the country’s Military College, who had been accused of having given the order to murder the Jesuit priests. These developments included the following:
- In September 1991 a Salvadoran court imposed a 30-year imprisonment sentence upon Benavides after being convicted at trial of all eight counts of murder and instigation and conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism.
- In 1992, pursuant to the Salvadoran General Amnesty Law, Colonel Benavides and the others who had been convicted in the Jesuits case were released from prison.
- In July 2016 the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of El Salvador decided, 4 to 1, that the General Amnesty Law was unconstitutional.
On April 6, 2017, a Salvadoran appeals court decided that as a result of the invalidation of the General Amnesty Law, Benavides’ 30-year sentence was valid and that he must return to prison to serve that sentence. This was reported in the El Salvador Perspectives blog.