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Santa Ana man suspected in Guatemalan massacre is deported

July 12, 2011 |  1:19 pm

Pedro Pimentel Rios

A Santa Ana maintenance worker who was allegedly a member of a Guatemalan commando unit that massacred dozens of men, women and children during that country’s civil war was deported Tuesday, immigration officials said.

Pedro Pimentel Rios was accused of being among some 20 members of an elite Guatemalan army unit known as the Kaibiles that murdered at least 160 villagers –- including nearly 70 children under the age of 12 -- in the village of Las Dos Erres in December 1982.

Rios, 54, was ordered deported in May by a federal immigration judge. He landed in Guatemala on Tuesday afternoon on an ICE charter removal flight and was turned over to authorities to face charges in that country.  

Earlier this year, Jorge Sosa, 52, of Moreno Valley, another alleged member of the Kaibiles, was arrested in Canada. He is awaiting extradition to the United States to face criminal charges for naturalization fraud for allegedly lying on his citizenship application about his military service.

Another member of the unit, Gilberto Jordan of South Florida, was sentenced last year to 10 years in prison for lying about his role in the massacre to procure citizenship.

“This is a great day for justice,” said John Woods, the deputy assistant director of ICE’s national security investigations division. The U.S., he said, “is not going be the conduit for people who commit these atrocities to live out their lives in peace.”

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--Paloma Esquivel

Photo: Pedro Pimentel Rios is taken onto an ICE charter removal flight. Credit: ICE

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