US University Sues the CIA Over War Crimes in El Salvador

Source: TeleSUR English

Human right advocates in the U.S. are working alongside Salvadorans to end the system of impunity in the Central American country.

The University of Washington filed a lawsuit to force the CIA to release declassified documents that could help bring to justice a U.S.-backed army officer suspected of killing hundreds of civilians during El Salvador’s brutal crackdown on left-wing rebels, local news outlets reported Monday.

The university’s Center for Human Rights filed the lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act, alleging that the CIA is illegally withholding information on retired Salvadoran Army officer, Col. Sigifredo Ochoa, who is currently under criminal investigation for complicity in the 1981 Santa Cruz massacre in El Salvador.

The lawsuit hopes to support justice-seeking survivors of the U.S-backed counterinsurgency against left-wing rebels that left more than 75,000 people dead and over 30,000 disappeared between 1980 and 1992.

“Access to the documents … could facilitate justice proceedings in these and other cases of grave rights abuses,” the lawsuit claims.

Ochoa was a high-ranking officer in a country ruled by a small elite and guarded by the military, who “adhered closely to the United States’ suggested wartime strategy,” according to the legal proceeding.

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