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Courtesy Center for Justice and Accountability
  • Monster Next Door

    As Somalia's minister of defense in the 1980s, Gen. Mohammed Samantar, right, was part of a military dictatorship that "had one of the worst human rights records in Africa," according to the United Nations. "They tied my hands to my legs, and they waterboarded me, and put [on] me some kind of electric shock," said Bashe Yousuf, a former Somali political prisoner now living in the United States.
    Courtesy Center for Justice and Accountability
  • Monster Next Door

    Mass graves are one legacy of the Somali civil war. "Tens of thousands of civilians were killed, thousands and thousands of civilians were being held in prison without any meaningful trial or access to justice," said Pamela Merchant, executive director of the San Francisco-based Center for Justice and Accountability.
    Courtesy Center for Justice and Accountability
  • Monster Next Door

    Former Somali political prisoner Bashe Yousuf lived safely in the United States for years before he made a horrifying discovery: Gen. Mohammed Samantar, pictured, the man Yousuf blames for his brutal ordeal, had also moved to America and was living out his golden years in a comfortable house in a middle-class suburb of Washington, D.C. But Samantar's attorney, Julian Spirer, says his client is no monster. In fact, he says he was warmly received in Washington while in office and was granted asylum in the United States in 1997.
    Courtesy Center for Justice and Accountability
  • Monster Next Door

    Somali Gen. Mohammed Samantar is not the only controversial émigré to hit American shores. The Center for Justice and Accountability has spent years trying to hold alleged war criminals accountable here for what they did in their home countries. Col. Nicolas Carranza, former vice-minister of defense for El Salvador, currently lives in Memphis, Tenn. On Nov. 18, 2005, a Memphis jury ordered Carranza to pay $6 million in damages for crimes against humanity, torture and extrajudicial killing. He has not, however, been imprisoned.
    Courtesy Center for Justice and Accountability
  • Monster Next Door

    Col. Carl Dorélien, a former member of the Haitian military's high command, has been found liable for human rights abuses committed under the 1991-94 dictatorship in Haiti. He was discovered living in Miami in 1997 -- when he won $3.2 million in the Florida lottery. Dorélien was deported in 2003. In February 2007, a federal jury found Dorélien liable for torture, extrajudicial killing, arbitrary detention and crimes against humanity.
    Courtesy Center for Justice and Accountability
  • Monster Next Door

    Former Salvadoran Minister of Defense Gen. José Guillermo Garcia, now living in Florida, was found liable in a civil trial for assisting in the torture of Salvadoran civilians. In 2002, a West Palm Beach, Fla., jury returned a $54.6 million verdict against Garcia and fellow Gen. Eugenio Vides Casanova, not pictured, for the crime.
    Courtesy Center for Justice and Accountability
  • Monster Next Door

    Despite being found liable for the torturing of Salvadoran civilians, former Gens. Carlos Vides Casanova, left, and José Guillermo García continue to live freely in Florida. "The best estimate I've seen is that there's about a thousand mid- to high-level former government officials responsible for human rights abuses in [the United States]," said Pamela Merchant, executive director of the San Francisco-based Center for Justice and Accountability. In October 2009 the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced that it had initiated deportation proceedings against the former generals.
    Courtesy Center for Justice and Accountability
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