Guatemalan Soldier Arrested in Lethbridge, Sentenced In California for Lying to Get US Citizenship : B93.3 FM : Lethbridge's #1 Hit Music Station : Lethbridge News, Alberta
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Guatemalan Soldier Arrested in Lethbridge, Sentenced In California for Lying to Get US Citizenship

 
 

LETHRBIDGE:   The Canadian Centre for International Justice has confirmed a man arrested in Lethbridge in January of 2011 and wanted by Guatemalan authorities for alleged war crimes, has been sentenced to 10-years for lying to gain U.S. citizenship.

 

On October 1st of 2013, 55-year old Jorge Vinicio Orantes Sosa was found guilty in a California court of making false statements and obtaining citizenship unlawfully. A 10-year sentence was handed down in a Riverside, California court on Monday. The former Guatemalan army officer will also be stripped of his of American Citizenship.

 

It should be noted, the sentence does not address the alleged war crime charges.

 

U.S. Prosecutors had claimed Sosa did not disclose his role in the 1982 killings in a Guatemalan village when he applied to become a naturalized U-S citizen, even though he was asked about affiliations and past crimes.

 

Sosa was arrested in Lethbridge on January 18th of 2011 while he visited family in the city. He was held in Calgary, while he appealed a decision by a Canadian judge to send him south of the border, where he would go to trial on charges of lying to American authorities to acquire citizenship there. As it turned out, Sosa, who was 52 at the time, held both Canadian and U.S. Citizenship.

 

On August 8th, 2012, the Court of Appeal of Alberta ruled that the appeal was "hopeless", saying there is evidence suggesting that Sosa withheld information about military background, including his alleged involvement in a civilian massacre of 251 men, women and children in a Guatemala village in 1982.


Justice Brian O'Ferrall stated in the decision that despite claims by Sosa that he had nothing to do with the event, several witnesses have come forward saying that not only was he there, but that he was a commanding officer in the group that carried out the slaughter.

 

O'Ferrall added that the judge who made the decision to extradite Sosa did not need to determine whether or not he was guilty, but whether or not there was enough evidence against him to warrant a trial.

 

You can read the full decision at the following link:

http://www2.albertacourts.ab.ca/jdb/2003-/ca/criminal/2012/2012abca0242.pdf

 

Sosa was also denied a chance to have the Supreme Court of Canada hear an appeal of his extradition to the U-S. No reasons were given.

 

An account of the case ans sentence can be found on the Canadian Centre for International Justice website: 


http://www.ccij.ca/programs/cases/index.php?WEBYEP_DI=16

 



Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 4/20/2014 3:51:32 PM
Source: Dori Modney (On Twitter - Dori_Modney) -- Country 95 News Archive and files from Canadian Centre for International Justice
 
 
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