Montano is among 20 people that authorities in Spain indicted in 2011 in connection with the killings of the Jesuits, their cook and her teenage daughter, during El Salvador’s civil war. The Justice Department referred an inquiry about whether U.S. officials would extradite Montano to Spain to the U.S. attorney’s office in Boston. A spokeswoman said Thursday that the government was aware of the charges in Spain but wouldn’t comment on whether there would be extradition proceedings.
The government is asking for a sentence of more than four years in prison. A defense memo asks the judge to sentence Montano to five years of probation.
Defense attorney Oscar Cruz Jr. declined to comment on the case Thursday.
U.S. District Judge Douglas Woodlock previously said he would consider departing from sentencing guidelines when deciding a penalty. He said in January when delaying sentencing that, if proved, the allegations linked to Montano’s acts with the military would cause him “to consider an upward departure.”
Witnesses at Montano’s sentencing could include a Stanford University professor who wrote a report that claims that troops under Montano’s command carried out dozens of killings and tortured hundreds, as well as a retired El Salvadoran general who would dispute those allegations.
Attorney Carolyn Patty Blum from the Center for Justice and Accountability, whose organization is involved in seeking prosecution in Spain against those indicted in the Jesuit killings, believes the judge will consider the ex-colonel’s history before deciding a penalty in the immigration case.
“To me, there’s no question that accountability for the human rights violations is going to be a factor in the sentence,” she said Thursday.