Argentine ‘death flights’ trial gets underway
For the first time, Argentina is carrying out a trial against Army members specifically for the so-called vuelos de la muerte, where thousands of dissidents between 1976 and 1983 were drugged, forced onto military aircraft and dumped into the ocean to drown.
- With testimony from the trials, this week Argentine authorities located a mass grave site where some bodies that floated back to shore were buried.
- Five retired military officers are accused of killing three men and one woman whose bodies ended up on the Buenos Aires coast.
- It is believed there were two “death flights” per week, with aircraft carrying around 25 people each time.
- The Campo de Mayo court case, so called after the base the flights took off from, is being held on Zoom sessions open to the Argentine public every Monday. The trial started in October after prosecutors compiled more than 400 statements from former officers and witnesses confirming the existence of the flights.
- The Chilean, Paraguayan and Uruguayan dictatorships are also known to have carried out “death flights” around the same time.