BIA Sets Oral Argument in Vides-Casanova Case: Feb. 6, 2014

BIA Sets Oral Argument in Vides-Casanova Case: Feb. 6, 2014

"The U.S. Board of Immigration Appeals will hear arguments on the appeal by former Minister of Defense of El Salvador, General Carlos Eugenio Vides-Casanova, of an immigration court decision ordering him to be removed from the U.S. for his role in widespread human rights abuses committed in El Salvador. 

The appellate argument will be held on February 6, 2014 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m before the Board of Immigration Appeals, 5107 Leesburg Pike, Suite 2000, Falls Church VA. The Center for Justice & Accountability (CJA), through Senior Legal Advisor Carolyn Patty Blum and CJA client Carlos R. Mauricio, will be present at the hearing and available for comment.

General Vides Casanova is challenging the immigration judge's extensive findings that he "ordered, incited, assisted or otherwise participated in torture or extra-judicial killing" in El Salvador from October 1979 through June 1989 while he was National Guard Director and then Minister of Defense. General Vides Casanova and General Guillermo Garcia also were defendants in a civil case brought by CJA on behalf of torture survivors Carlos R. Mauricio, Dr. Juan Romagoza and Neris Gonzalez. CJA's civil case resulted in a multi-million dollar judgment against the Generals for torture and other human rights abuses. Romagoza Arce v. Garcia, et al.

The historic 157-page Immigration Court decision was based on extensive testimony and documentary evidence. Testimony against Vides Casanova included that of CJA clients Dr. Romagoza who testified regarding his torture in the Headquarters of the National Guard and Daniel Alvarado, who testified about his torture at the Treasury Police Headquarters. Former Ambassador Robert White and Stanford Law Professor Terry Karl also testified during the trial.

Judge James K. Grim found General Vides Casanova removable from the United States for his participation in the torture of CJA’s clients, among many other civilians, and for assisting or otherwise participating in the 1980 extrajudicial killing of the four American churchwomen and the 1981 Sheraton Hotel killings of two Americans and a Salvadoran land reform leader.

The Center for Justice and Accountability is gratified that the U.S. government has undertaken this effort, which has given our clients a measure of justice. Information about the case and a detailed summary of the Immigration Judge’s decision can be found at http://cja.org/article.php?list=type&type=548." - CJA, Jan. 29, 2014.