Demand Conviction of Soldier Responsible for Massacre

Dead suspected guerrillas

Target: President Barack Obama

Goal: Charge Guatemalan soldier Jorge Vinicio Sosa Orantes for mass murder

For almost three years, a Guatemalan soldier by the name Jorge Vinicio Sosa Orantes has been in United States custody due to an immigration violation when he was applying for United States citizenship; Orantes never mentioned he was responsible for a massacre. Human rights groups are demanding that this man either be charged or extradited for his crimes, as the nation of Guatemala has already convicted and charged five others who were responsible for the massacre.

Orantes was extradited to the United States to face immigration violations when he was visiting family in Lethbridge, Alberta. He holds both Canadian and United States citizenship, but because he never mentioned his membership in an army unit involved in a massacre, the United States sentenced Orantes to ten years in prison. So far he has served three of those years, but the nation of Guatemala wants the soldier to return so the government can charge him.

Orantes is accused of killing civilians in the village of Dos Erres when Guatemala was engulfed by civil war. It’s estimated that 251 men, women, and children were killed. The military attacked the village, believing they were a part of the rebel group that stole 20 rifles and ambushed their unit. His extradition hearing revealed that Orantes was a sub-lieutenant at the Kaibil school, which trained commando units in Guatemala, and he was one of the commanders of the unit that surrounded the village of Dos Erres. Many of the villagers were killed with sledgehammers, the women and girls raped and killed, their bodies thrown into a well. While Orantes denies doing anything of this, experts disagree. Evidence found at the site shows that Orantes was present and active in the killings, even holding a firearm and grenade.

The United States must do the right thing and convict this murderer for his crimes. This man has violated international law and should be justly punished. The victims of the village and their surviving family members should have the right to see justice, and the United States has the power to do this. Pressure the president to punish this man’s heinous crime.


Dear President Obama,

It has come to my attention that a prisoner in United States custody is responsible for the murder of 250 people in Guatemala. This man, Jorge Vinicio Sosa Orantes, was part of a military unit that killed innocent civilians in the village of Dos Erres on the pretense that these villagers harbored stolen weapons. Women and girls were raped and killed, their bodies thrown into a well. Stolen weapons were not found. This man holds both Canadian and United States citizenship, which means he has somehow escaped scrutiny of his crimes until now.

I am demanding that the United States charge this man of mass murder, as he is only serving time for violating immigration law. The victims of this murder should see justice for what this man has done, and by not charging him the United States is doing a huge injustice.  Need I remind you that Orantes violated international law? The United States should do the right thing and begin a trial.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Jean Marie Simon via Wikimedia

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