National Catholic Reporter

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Judge's ruling opens door for deportation of retired Salvadoran general

WASHINGTON -- Family and friends of four American churchwomen murdered in 1980 welcomed a Florida immigration judge's decision that paves the way for the deportation of a former Salvadoran defense minister found to have a role in their killings.

James Kazel, brother of Ursuline Sister Dorothy Kazel of Cleveland, said the expected deportation to El Salvador of Gen. Carlos Eugenio Vides Casanova was "past due as far as I'm concerned."

"He got away with murder and got away with living in the United States," Kazel told Catholic News Service from his home in Avon, Ohio. "He didn't deserve to be here."

Vides, who served as defense minister from 1983 to 1989 before retiring and moving to Florida, commanded the Salvadoran National Guard in December 1980 when the women were murdered by guardsmen along a rural road outside the capital, San Salvador.

Five guardsmen were convicted of the killings in 1984 and served long jail sentences.

"Justice moves kind of slow in the U.S., but we finally got our mission accomplished," Kazel said. "It was a thing that everybody from the families was waiting for."

For Cuban-Americans, generational shift parallels changes on island


WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- As Armando Gil departed Havana in 1965, his father's last words to him, whispered in his ear, were: "Under no circumstances are you to return as long as there is communism in Cuba."

Bound for Mexico, then the United States, Gil was not in the United States a full year before he was off to boot camp for the U.S. Navy. Today, he is a retired schoolteacher, self-described "cradle Catholic" active in the Cursillo Movement and proud grandfather in Jacksonville.

Anticlimactic arrest, hospitable detention after days of demonstration


Brian Terrell, 55, arrived in Bahrain on Feb. 10 and remained there as an international human rights observer until he was deported five days later. A Catholic Worker farmer and veteran peace activist, Terrell has participated in human rights delegations to Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel/Palestine, Central America and Chiapas, Mexico.

Six American activists arrested in, deported from Bahrain


Bahraini authorities arrested and deported six Americans on Tuesday who say they were in the country as part of a monitoring mission during a security crackdown on the first anniversary of the country's popular uprising.

The Americans activists are members of Witness Bahrain, a newly created U.S. group of civilian observers. All six were arrested in the capital of Manama while accompanying human rights activist Nabeel Rajab during a protest march toward the Pearl Roundabout, the epicenter of last year's anti-government protests that were crushed weeks after they began.

In addition to the six Americans, police arrested dozens of protestors, including women and children, according to Al Wefaq, the country's main political opposition party, which is aligned with Shi'a Islam. Also detained were several human rights activists, among them Rajab, who was later released.

Sealed accounts and mystery sources blur Filipino impeachment trial


The text message from a lawyer flashed on my phone Sunday: "Tonight at 7 p.m. Defense Panel will hold a presscon at the Club Filipino. Inviting everybody to come for an important announcement."

At a sports club packed with journalists and TV and radio crews, impeached Philippines Chief Justice Renato Corona's nine lawyers interrupted their Sunday evening routine to tell the media they received "very reliable information" that Malacañang, the office of President Benigno Aquino, was offering 100 million pesos ($2.356 million) for projects to every senator who would defy the Supreme Court's temporary restraining order to stop the opening of Corona's dollar accounts.

Attorney Dennis Manalo, reading the Corona defense team's statement at the Feb. 12 press conference in San Juan City, Metro Manila, said the team received information that Aquino's executive secretary, Paquito Ochoa, "acting on behalf of the president was personally phoning the senator-judges to persuade or pressure them to defy the temporary restraining order issued by the Supreme Court in favor of Philippine Savings Bank (PSBank)."


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