Santa Ana man accused in 1982 Guatemalan massacre is ordered deported
A former member of a Guatemalan commando unit accused of participating in a 1982 massacre in that country's civil war was ordered deported Wednesday by a federal immigration judge.
Pedro Pimental Rios, 54, who lives in Santa Ana, was denied asylum by Judge Lorraine J. Munoz, according to attorney Michael Selph, who represents Rios.
Rios was a member of en elite unit known as the Kaibiles, which has been implicated in the killings of at least 150 people in the village of Dos Erres.
The massacre was one of a number of atrocities committed in a bloody civil war between insurgents and the country's U.S.-backed army. According to U.S. authorities, some estimates place the death toll in Dos Erres closer to 250.
"It is regarded as one of the most atrocious atrocities during the conflict,'' Adriana Beltran of the Washington Office on Latin America, told The Times in January. "Many small children and infants were beaten against walls and trees. Many women were raped.''
Earlier this year, Jorge Sosa, 52, a Moreno Valley man and former member of the unit, was arrested in connection with the massacre while he was visiting relatives in Canada.
Selph said Rios has the option of appealing Wednesday's deportation order to the Board of Immigration Appeals. He had been living in the U.S. for years and applied for asylum. Rios, his attorney said, "had been living a quiet life as a maintenance person."
— Robert J. Lopez