Ex-soldier deported from U.S. to face charges over Guatemala massacre

Former Guatemalan soldier wanted for war crime charges over 1982 massacre that left more than 200 villagers dead is deported from U.S.

  • Gilberto Jordan was deported from the United States to Guatemala on Tuesday to face war crime charges
  • Jordan and at least 20 members of an elite force known as ‘Kaibiles’are accused of killing more than 200 people in the village of Don Erres 
  • The 64-year-old is the third soldier deported to Guatemala by the U.S. for their roles in the Central American nation’s civil war
  • Jordan became a U.S. citizen in 1999 and spent ten years working in a federal prison in Florida before he was arrested in 2011
  • Pedro Pimentel Rios was removed in 2011 and sentenced in 2012 to 6,060 years in prison
  • Santos Lopez Alonzo was deported in 2016 and was handed a 5,160-year sentence in 2018

A former Guatemalan sergeant who admitted to participating in a massacre in 1982 during the country’s civil war was expelled from the United States on Tuesday, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement said.

Gilberto Jordan, 64, is the third former Guatemalan soldier to be deported to face war crime charges for the murder of 200 men, women and children in the village of Dos Erres.

Guatemala’s civil war lasted 36 years before a peace treaty was signed in 1996. 

Jordan was arrested in Palm Beach, Florida, in May 2010 by Homeland Security Investigations and pleaded guilty two months later to making false statements on his U.S. naturalization forms, hiding his service in the military and involvement in the killings. 

His U.S. citizenship, which was granted in 1999, was revoked, and he served ten years in federal prison.

Gilberto Jordan was deported from the United States to Guatemala to face war crime charges. He admitted to participating in the killings of more than 200 men, women and children during Guatemala’s civil war in 1982. He was a member of the elite ‘Kaibiles’ force

Santos Lopez Alonzo is one of three former Guatemala soldiers expelled by the United States to the Central American nation to face war crime charges. He was deported in August 2016 and convicted in November 2018. He is serving 5,160 years in prison

U.S. officials say the Guatemalan government has accused Jordan of being among some 20 members of an elite Guatemalan force known as the ‘Kaibiles’ who committed the atrocity in Doss Erres in December 1982. 

The slaughter was part of an effort to eliminate communities supporting insurgent groups at the height of the war. 

The soldiers were searching for missing rifles believed to be stolen by guerrillas, but the search turned violent when villagers were raped and killed.

In 1994, the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team [EAAF] dug through the village’s 40-foot well and recovered 162 skeletons, including many belonging to young children. 

Jordan acknowledged participating in the killings and personally throwing a young child down the well. 

He testified against a fellow former soldier in a California trial in 2013.

The United States has expelled three former members of Guatemala’s military for their role in the December 1982 massacre of 200 people in the town of Dos Erres. Pedro Pimentel Rios (center) was deported to Guatemala in July 2011 and sentenced to 6,060 years in March 2012

Residents (pictured on October 1, 1982) listen to a Guatemalan Army officer speak about forming civil defense patrols to secure their villages against leftist guerrilla attacks near  Huehuetenango, Guatemala

Jordan arrived illegally in the United States in 1985 and eventually settled in Boca Raton, Florida. 

He held a job at a country club as a cook before his arrest in 2010.

The 1982 slaughter went unpunished for years, even after Guatemalan authorities issued 17 arrest warrants. 

Prosecutors say six former soldiers have now been convicted in the deaths.

Pedro Pimentel Rios was deported to Guatemala in July 2011 by ICE and sentenced to 6,060 years in March 2012. 

Santos Lopez Alonzo, who was removed from the United States in August 2016, was convicted in November 2018 and sentenced to 5,160 years in prison.

The civil war from 1960 to 1996 left 200,000 people dead and 45,000 missing, a United Nations report says. 

The document says that army and paramilitary groups were responsible for at least 97% of the deaths, while the rest is attributed to the insurgent groups.

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