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  HOME | Brazil (Click here for more)

Brazilian Judges Approve Handing over Fugitive Killer to Spain

BRASILIA Ė Brazilís Supreme Court has authorized the extradition to Spain of a man convicted for the politically motivated killings of five people in Madrid in 1977, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Carlos Garcia Julia, 65, was arrested in Sao Paulo last December after living in Brazil for 17 years under a false identity.

On Jan. 24, 1977, Garcia Julia and Jose Fernandez Cerra burst into the office of a labor law firm in Madridís Atocha neighborhood and started shooting.

Attorneys Enrique Valdelvira, Javier Sauquillo and Luis Javier Benavides, student Serafin Holgado and office administrator Angel Rodriguez died in the attack, while four other people were badly wounded.

What became known as the Atocha Massacre became one of the symbols of Spainís transition to democracy, since the murders occurred just two months before the legalization of the Spanish Communist Party and five months before the countryís first democratic elections after four decades of dictatorship.

Garcia Julia was sentenced in 1980 by Spainís National Court to 193 years behind bars for the five killings.

The former member of the political party New Force and other ultra-rightist groups was granted temporary parole and given permission to travel to Paraguay for a job offer after having served 14 years of his sentence.

When he violated the parole terms by failing to check in with the Spanish Embassy, Spain requested his immediate return to serve out the rest of his prison term, but Garcia Julia disappeared.

The Brazilian high court judges voted unanimously to authorize the extradition after concluding that the original legal proceedings against Garcia Julia were motivated by his criminal acts, not his political views, according to prosecutors.

Garcia Julia had entered Brazil via the remote northwestern town of Roraima from Venezuela, Interpolís regional representative in Sao Paulo, Reinaldo Campos Sperandio, said last December at a joint press conference with Brazilian Federal Police and Spanish National Police officials.

The fugitive had been carrying papers that identified him as a Venezuelan citizen named Genaro Antonio Materan Flores, but he had obtained just one temporary visa in Brazil back in 2009.

His arrest in Sao Pauloís Barra Funda neighborhood was the culmination of a long and arduous joint investigation by Spanish and Brazilian authorities with the assistance of Interpol.

 

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