Memphis, Tenn. — A federal jury Friday held a former Salvadoran Army colonel responsible for murder and torture during El Salvador's civil war in the 1980s and ordered him to pay $6 million in damages.
The verdict came in a lawsuit filed by five current or former Salvadorans who said that they were tortured or that their family members were killed by soldiers under the command of Nicolas Carranza.
The jury agreed with four of Carranza's accusers and ordered compensatory damages of $500,000 for each, plus $4 million in punitive damages - $1 million per accuser.
The jury could not reach a verdict in the fifth case, and Judge Jon McCalla declared a mistrial.
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, 72, showed no emotion when the verdict was delivered and declined comment as he left the courtroom. His attorney said Carranza had no way to pay the judgment and would likely appeal.