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The Jesuit Massacre Trial 2020

The Spanish National Criminal Court

Imperfect Conditions, Necessary Justice 


A book of one of the six Jesuit priests who was killed during El Salvador's civil war is exhibited at the Museum of the Central American University in San Salvador


The Jesuit Massacre Trial background

Madrid, 8 June 2020 - The trial for the killings of Ignacio Ellacuría, Ignacio Martín-Baró, Amando López, Joaquín López y López, Juan Ramón Moreno, Segundo Montes, and their housekeeper and her daughter, Elba Julia Ramos and Celina Maricet Ramos will begin on Monday, 8 June 2020 where it will begin with the criminal charges being read out, and then the evidence will be presented, starting with the testimonies of the defendants and witnesses.


The historic trial is scheduled to be held in the course of two consecutive blocks: the first taking place from 8 – 10 June 2020; and the second scheduled later in the summer, from 8 – 16 July 2020.  

The first hearing will commence at 15.00 CET on 8 June 2020, 

The principal defendant is former colonel Inocente Orlando Montano, who at the time of the events was Vice-Minister of Public Security, and was extradited from the United States of America to Spain on 29 November 2017. 


The assassination of the Jesuits priests and the two women they employed shocked the entire world and forever tainted Salvadoran history with atrocity and injustice. This heinous act was carried out in the early hours of 16 November 1989 by the Atlacatl Battalion of the Salvadoran Army. The events were so significant that they are said to have forced the end of the civil war in El Salvador and catalysed the victims’ quest for truth, justice, and accountability, after an era of state-sponsored terror and repression against the civilian population.


Due to the restrictions imposed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, considering the international importance of the trial, attorneys for the private and popular prosecution ‒exercised by the Spanish Pro-Human Rights Association (APDHE), the family of Jesuit assassinated Ignacio Martín-Baró, and the San José Jesuit School of Valencia Alumni Association‒ filed a petition to have the trial live streamed in an effort to promote the need for justice to be publicly and transparently administered.  The online transmission of the trial aims to promote the possibility of having victims and other stakeholders in El Salvador and the Salvadoran society, at large, engaged in this momentous event.

The trial will be live-streamed from here.  More Background Information here.

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