Spanish judges seeking arrest of 20 in El Salvador

A Spanish judge has issued international arrest warrants for 20 Salvadoran military officials in connection with the 1989 slayings of eight people, including six Jesuit priests.

Soldiers killed the priests, five of them Spaniards, along with their housekeeper and her daughter in November of 1989 during El Salvador’s civil war.

The priests were suspected of sympathizing with leftist rebels fighting the right-wing government.

Spain’s judiciary has investigated alleged human rights abuses in Latin America, Africa and Asia, the most famous of which was Judge Baltasar Garzon’s attempt to extradite former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.

The high-profile judge uses the principle of universal jurisdiction to bring such cases to trial.

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