Following an investigation led by the Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Gilberto Jordan, 54, a former Guatemalan special forces soldier, was sentenced today to 10 years in prison and revocation of his U.S. citizenship for unlawfully procuring his U.S. citizenship by lying about his participation in a 1982 massacre at a Guatemalan village known as Dos Erres.
According to the indictment and court documents, in approximately November 1982, a Guatemalan guerrilla group ambushed a military convoy near Dos Erres, Guatemala, killing soldiers and taking a number of rifles. In response, a patrol of approximately 20 Guatemalan special forces soldiers, known as “Kaibiles,” including Jordan, were deployed in December 1982 to the village of Dos Erres to search for the stolen rifles and find suspected guerrillas. According to court documents Jordan and the special patrol entered Dos Erres who created a security perimeter around the village so that no one could escape.
Court documents further state that members of the special patrol then proceeded to systematically kill the men, women and children at Dos Erres by, among other methods, hitting them in the head with a sledgehammer and then pushing them into the village well. Members of the special patrol also forcibly raped many of the women and girls at Dos Erres before killing them. Approximately 162 skeletal remains were later exhumed from the village well.
At the hearing on his guilty plea, Jordan admitted that he had been a Kaibil in the Guatemalan military who participated in the massacre at Dos Erres. Jordan also admitted that the first person he killed at Dos Erres was a baby, whom Jordan murdered by throwing in the well.
When Jordan applied to become a U.S. citizen in September 1996, he falsely denied that he had ever served in the military or committed any crimes for which he had not been arrested. In July 1999, when Jordan was interviewed by a naturalization examiner in connection with his naturalization application, he falsely swore under oath that the answers he had earlier provided on his application were true and correct. Jordan was sworn in as a U.S. citizen on Aug. 25, 1999. “Gilberto Jordan obtained the privilege of U.S. citizenship by lying about his prior military service and concealing his brutal, murderous participation in the Dos Erres massacre,” said Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer.
The U.S. Government places a high priority in investigating human rights violators, including those who have participated in war crimes and acts of genocide, torture, extrajudicial killings, and violations of religious freedom, who frequently seek to evade justice by seeking shelter in the United States. These individuals may assume fraudulent identities to enter the country, seeking to blend into communities inside the U.S.