El Salvador’s Catholic Church is calling for a renewed investigation of the 1980 assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero following a ruling in which a Salvadoran man now living in California was found liable for the crime.
A federal judge in Fresno, California, ruled September 3 that Alvaro Saravia, a former Salvadoran military captain, should be held responsible for Romero’s murder and ordered that Saravia pay $10 million to a relative of the archbishop.
Romero, an outspoken advocate of human rights, was assassinated in 1980 while saying mass. His death was a tragic milestone in a turbulent era for El Salvador and the church in Latin America.
In the midst of a civil war and insurgency that eventually killed 75,000, Romero became a hero to populist elements of the church with his criticism of the Salvadoran military and right-wing death squads.