Journalism in the Public Interest

Finding Oscar

In 1982 amid Guatemala’s brutal civil war, 20 army commandos invaded the jungle hamlet of Dos Erres disguised as rebels. The squad members, called Kaibiles, cut their way through the town, killing more than 250 people. Only a handful survived. One, a 3-year-old boy, was abducted by a Kaibil officer and raised by his family. It took 30 years for Oscar Alfredo Ramírez Castañeda to learn the truth. More »

Slideshow: Oscar's Story

Tranquilino Castañeda believed his son Oscar was dead, killed by Guatemalan Army commandos at Dos Erres. Oscar believed the lieutenant who abducted him was real father. More »

All 14 Stories (0)

  updates since last visit

Federal Agents Arrest a Former Guatemalan Soldier Charged With Massacring Civilians

The Maryland resident has been linked to a 1982 attack on the village of Dos Erres in Guatemala that led to the deaths of about 250 children, women and unarmed men.

A Commander of the Dos Erres Massacre Squad Gets 10 Years in Prison

A federal judge sentences Jorge Vinicio Sosa Orantes to the maximum term for lying on immigration forms about his role in the deaths of 250 people during the Guatemalan civil war.

‘Nos Ordenaron que Matáramos a Toda la Gente’

En un proceso histórico en Estados Unidos, excomandos del ejército guatemalteco dieron testimonio sobre la masacre de 250 residentes en la aldea selvática de Dos Erres durante la guerra civil.

‘They Ordered Us To Kill All The People’

At a historic U.S. trial, former Guatemalan army commandos testify about the massacre of 250 villagers in the jungle hamlet of Dos Erres during the country’s civil war.

In U.S. Trial of Massacre Suspect, a Rare Chance for Guatemalan Justice

A survivor of the 1982 Dos Erres massacre and former Guatemalan commandos who carried it out will testify against a former army lieutenant, a U.S. citizen who prosecutors say lied about his involvement.

Although a Fugitive, Accused Guatemalan War Criminal Hasn’t Run Far

ProPublica’s reporting last year about the search for perpetrators of the Dos Erres masscare led to the discovery that an ex-colonel who is a leading suspect had lived openly in an upscale Guatemala City neighborhood.

How an Accused Guatemalan War Criminal Won U.S., Canadian Citizenship

Jorge Vinicio Sosa Orantes denies any role in the slaughter of 250 villagers at Dos Erres in 1982, but investigators say he concealed his background as an army commando and manipulated the immigration system.

Como un Presunto Criminal de Guerra Logró Hacerse Ciudadano en Estados Unidos y Canadá

Jorge Vinicio Sosa Orantes niega cualquier participación en la masacre de 250 campesinos en Dos Erres en 1982, pero los investigadores dicen que escondió su pasado como comando militar y manipuló el sistema.

The Dos Erres Fugitives

Guatemalan Massacre Survivor Wins Political Asylum in U.S.

As a boy, Oscar Ramírez Castañeda was abducted by an officer in the squad that conducted one of the worst massacres in Guatemala’s civil war.

Immigration Charges For Accused Commando In Dos Erres Massacre

Jorge Vinicio Sosa Orantes had become a U.S. citizen while allegedly concealing his military service and involvement in the infamous 1982 attack that left more than 250 people dead in a remote Guatemalan village.

Video: Oscar Reunites With His Father

Last week, we published stories about a father and son who’d been separated for nearly 30 years after a massacre at their Guatemalan village. Tranquilino Castañeda, now 70, believed his youngest son Alfredo -- now called Oscar -- was dead. On Monday, they reunited -- and Castañeda met his grandch

Separated By Massacre, a Father And Son Reunite Three Decades Later

Tranquilino Castañeda believed his son Oscar was dead, killed by Guatemalan Army commandos at Dos Erres. Oscar believed the lieutenant who abducted him was real father.

Slideshow: A Day of Anticipation, Anxiety, Family

The Faces of Dos Erres

How We Reported Oscar’s Story

Timeline: The Dos Erres Massacre and the Hunt for Oscar

Slideshow: Oscar’s Story

Finding Oscar: Massacre, Memory and Justice in Guatemala

Get Updates

Our Hottest Stories