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U.S. Arrests Salvadoran Ex-Colonel over 1981 Massacre by U.S.-Trained Forces in El Mozote

HeadlineApr 11, 2023

U.S. authorities have arrested Roberto Antonio Garay Saravia, a retired army colonel from El Salvador’s army, over his role in the 1981 El Mozote massacre, where U.S.-trained Salvadoran military officers killed nearly 1,000 civilians across seven villages. Immigration and Customs Enforcement claims Garay hid his involvement in the massacre in his application to become a legal U.S. resident in 2014. Garay, who received combat training at Fort Benning’s School of the Americas in Georgia, is also linked to three other massacres from 1981 to '84 during El Salvador's war. He’s currently held in an immigration jail in Pennsylvania. If deported, Garay would likely walk free in El Salvador, as Salvadoran authorities have never issued arrest warrants against any military officers involved in El Mozote. The Reagan administration and the Salvadoran military junta covered up the massacre for years.

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