MIAMI, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- An ex-minister of defense in El Salvador has been charged in the United States with obtaining a passport under false pretenses and lying to immigration agents.
Jose Guillermo Garcia, now a resident of Plantation, Fla., has been indicted on federal charges, The Miami Herald reported. Federal authorities in Miami said he is expected to surrender and described him as seriously ill.
In 2002, a court ordered Garcia and another former Salvadoran general to pay $55 million to three victims of torture. Garcia, who headed the defense ministry from 1979 to 1983, does not face charges for torture because Congress only made torture a U.S. crime in 1994.
Garcia allegedly obtained a passport under false pretenses in El Salvador in 2006 and used it to re-enter the United States. He allegedly told immigration agents at Miami International Airport that federal authorities had lost his previous passport when they had, in fact, seized it.