El Salvador

Extradition Sought For Alleged Death Squad Participant

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On August 16, 1991, a federal magistrate in San Antonio, Texas will rule on a request by the government of El Salvador to extradite César Vielman Joya Martínez, a former soldier in the intelligence unit of the First Infantry Brigade of the Salvadoran Army, for his alleged involvement in the murder of two young men in El Salvador in July 1989. Americas Watch opposes the extradition of Joya Martínez, because he is likely to be killed in El Salvador as a direct result of testimony he has given about death squad activities conducted in 1988-89 by the Salvadoran military. Americas Watch interviewed Joya Martínez for several hours and reviewed transcripts of many other hours of testimony given about his personal knowledge of, and participation in, First Brigade death squad activities. We read the court records in the murder case for which Joya Martínez's extradition is being sought, up until the time those court records were, without explanation, removed from public scrutiny. We attempted to verify Joya Martínez's accounts of First Brigade death squad activities by field investigations of murders he alleged were conducted by this squad. We were already familiar, because of our presence since 1985 in El Salvador, with certain of the cases he mentioned and with the Apopa-Nejapa area north of San Salvador, to which he was assigned.

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