Canada to send Guatemalan war crimes suspect to U.S.

September 3, 2011

A former member of the Guatemalan military who holds both Canadian and American passports and who is accused of war crimes in Guatemala will be extradited to the United States, a Canadian court ruled Friday.

Alberta’s Chief Justice in Neil Wittmann ruled that Jorge Vinicio Sosa, 53, should be sent to the US for trial on charges of false statements made in government application forms to become a naturalized American citizen.

Sosa, who was arrested last January while visiting family in Alberta, is also wanted by the Guatemalan government on more serious charges.

In the 1980s he was a member of the military force known as the Kaibiles. In December 1982, Sosa allegedly led a patrol of about 20 men whose mission was to retrieve stolen arms, but instead massacred the entire village of Dos Erres. Most victims were killed with a sledgehammer and women and children were raped before being slain.

Witnesses reported that Sosa tossed a grenade and shot at victims who were thrown into a well, some still alive.

The massacre resulted in a least 171 deaths.

He failed to reveal these facts while applying for U.S. citizenship, according to Washington.

Sosa, who became a martial arts instructor, has 30 days to appeal the decision of being deported to the U.S.

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