A man accused of horrific war crimes in Guatemala has been denied bail by a Calgary court.

Jorge Orantes Sosa, 52, is accused of taking part in the massacre of men, women and children in his native Guatemala nearly 30 years ago.

Sosa is facing extradition to the United States after he answers to immigration charges in Canada.

The judge denied bail because he deemed Sosa to be a flight risk.

Guatemalan officials say Sosa commanded a Special Forces unit in 1982 and allegedly ordered men under his command to attack a village and massacre more than 250 people.

In January, Sosa was picked up by Lethbridge police for allegedly falsifying documents to get U.S. citizenship.

Lethbridge police say they had been involved in the case since last October, when they received a request for assistance from the RCMP. American authorities asked the RCMP for assistance to try to get Sosa returned to the U.S.

Lethbridge police were expecting Sosa, who was in town visiting family, and arrested him on a sidewalk about 36 hours after he arrived.

The complicated extradition process could take months, even years.

Sosa holds Canadian, American and Guatemalan passports.