US Deports Guatemala Massacre Suspect

Posted July 12th, 2011 at 8:05 pm (UTC-5)
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U.S. authorities have deported a Guatemalan man wanted for allegedly taking part in a 1982 massacre that left at least 162 people dead in the Central American nation.

Officials from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Tuesday that 54-year-old Pedro Pimentel Rios was taken to Guatemala on a flight chartered by the agency and “immediately turned over to Guatemalan law enforcement officials.”

U.S. immigration officials say Pimentel Rios is a former member of the Guatemalan army who witnesses say took part in the massacre in the village of Dos Erres. Authorities say he was one of 20 members of an elite Guatemalan army unit known as the “Kaibiles,” which committed the killings of men, women and children while looking for leftist insurgents. The insurgents allegedly were responsible for the ambush of an army convoy that led to the theft of military rifles.

U.S. authorities arrested Pimentel Rios last year. This past May, an immigration judge cleared the way for him to be deported to Guatemala.

Officials say Pimentel Rios is one of four former Guatemalan military officers linked to the killings at Dos Erres.

Last year, Gilberto Jordan received a 10-year prison sentence in Florida for failing to disclose his role in the massacre in his U.S. citizenship application.

Another man, Santos Lopez Alonzo, was arrested in Houston and charged last year with re-entering the United States after being deported. The fourth person, Jorge Vincio Sosa Orantes, faces criminal charges in Los Angeles for naturalization fraud. He is awaiting extradition to the U.S. following his arrest in Canada in January.