El Salvador detains 3 officers in torture, abduction case

February 21, 2018

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) — Police in El Salvador arrested two military colonels and a lieutenant colonel Tuesday in connection with the case of eight soldiers who were convicted last year of abducting and torturing two people, one of them a minor.

One of the colonels was recently named military attache at the country’s embassy in neighboring Honduras, and the other holds a prominent position with the General Staff of the armed forces. Also detained in the case were four attorneys, a prosecutor, a police officer, two judicial workers and a doctor.

According to trial testimony, the soldiers were sent after several people who broke into a country house belonging to a military officer and stole money, a gun and other belongings. They said they were only following orders, but were sentenced to 14 years in prison.

An anti-organized-crime police unit has been investigating allegations the officers tried to bribe judicial officials and coerce victims to win the soldiers’ freedom.

Those arrested are suspected of crimes including illicit association, homicide conspiracy, coercion and bribery.

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