Carlos Eugenio Vides Casanova served as the Director of the Salvadoran National Guard, and later as Minister of Defense during the Salvadoran Civil War.  The Department of Homeland Security alleged that he participated in acts of torture and extrajudicial killings during his tenure in these government positions.  The Immigration Judge agreed, finding that Mr. Vides assisted or otherwise participated in six well-known and documented instances of extrajudicial killing.  The judge also found that Mr. Vides to investigate the killings after the fact, to cooperate with the investigations (which he impeded), and to ultimately hold the accused perpetrators accountable.  The Board agree that these acts, when taken in context with Mr. Vides' role as a military commander, collectively amounted to assistance or participation in the killings.   The Board noted that the statute does not require the person to have taken personal action to promote or facilitate the alleged acts before or during their commission.  It is sufficient that he (1) had knowledge that his subordinates committed unlawful acts and (2) failed to take action to investigate those acts afterwards in a genuine effort to punish the perpetrators.  Mr. Vides, who affirmatively and knowingly shielded subordinates from the consequences of their acts and promoted a culture of tolerance for human rights abuses, fell within the ambit of the statute.

The full text of Matter of Vides Casanova can be found here: