Jury holds former Salvadoran general responsible for torture - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Jury holds former Salvadoran general responsible for torture

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - A federal jury in Memphis has held a former Salvadoran military commander responsible for murder and torture during El Salvador's civil war in the 1980's.

The verdict today came in a lawsuit filed against Nicolas Carranza by five current or former Salvadorans. The plaintiffs say they were tortured or their family members were killed by soldiers under Carranza's command.

The jury agreed with four of Carranza's accusers and awarded a total of two million dollars -- a half million for each plaintiff. The jury continues deliberating the fifth case at the request of the judge.

The lawsuit accused Carranza, who has lived in Memphis since 1985, of failing to stop crimes against humanity when he was a top commander of El Salvador's security forces.

Carranza, now 72, showed no emotion when the verdict was delivered. He has denied wrongdoing and testified at his two-week trial that violence against Salvadoran civilians was the work of extremists on both sides of the conflict.

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

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