Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Romero assassin suspect on trial today in California

You won't find this in the World section but rather in the local section, and you can only find it in the LA Times (among the major dailies). For the next four days, Alvaro Saravia -- one of the key persons involved in planning the murder of Archbishop Oscar Romero -- will go on trial in absentia in California today. Four days of testimony are expected, and given his absence (he disappeared a year ago, after selling cars for a living for many years in the Modesto, Ca.) he is expected to be found guilty.

The UN-sponsored Truth Commission had this to say about the famous Saravia Diary, which was discovered during a May 7, 1980, raid on the San Luis estate in Santa Tecla, El Salvador, in which 12 active and retired military personnel and 12 civilians, including former Major Roberto D'Aubuisson, were arrested and formally accused of plotting to overthrow the Government by means of a coup d'état:

The "Saravia Diary" contained various important pieces of information concerning the assassination of Monsignor Romero. It referred to purchases and deliveries of large quantities of arms and ammunition, some of which, based on the ballistic study made by Judge Ramírez Amaya, were of the type used in the assassination. In addition, several names which appeared over and over again in the diary were of people concerning whose involvement in planning, carrying out or covering up the assassination the Commission has already received sufficient evidence. Other details include the name "Amado" - Amado Garay, the driver assigned to drive the assassin - and receipts for petrol purchased for a red vehicle used by former Captain Saravia.
I'll be following the story to see if any new information comes to light.

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