Witness says former Salvadoran officer was part of 'high command' - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Witness says former Salvadoran officer was part of 'high command'

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - A former U-S ambassador testified today in Memphis that a former Salvadoran colonel assisted his country's military dictators.

Colonel Nicholas Carranga  is accused of letting his soldiers kill and torture civilians during El Salvador's civil war in the 1980s.

Five current or former Salvadorans are suing Carranza, a naturalized U-S citizen and Memphis resident, accusing him in federal court of crimes against humanity when he was a top officer in the Salvadoran Army.

The 72-year-old Carranza contends he served under the direction of El Salvador's minister of defense and had no authority to stop human rights abuses by the police or military.

Robert White, a former U-S ambassador to El Salvador, told the jury that Carranza was a ranking member of the Salvadoran "high command," the country's ruling military elite.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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