Argentina: death flight pilot arrested in Spain

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Argentina: death flight pilot arrested in Spain

Postby Penta » Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:07 am

Juan Alberto Poch, pilot for low-cost airline Transavia, was arrested in Valencia during a turnaround. Argentina has an international arrest warrant out for him on suspicion of involvement in the murders of 1,000 people who were thrown alive out of planes into the sea or the river during the dictatorship. He was a Navy pilot working out of ESMA, the most notorious torture centre in Buenos Aires.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/se ... -argentina
http://memoryinlatinamerica.blogspot.co ... light.html
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Re: Argentina: death flight pilot arrested in Spain

Postby coldharvest » Fri Sep 25, 2009 10:30 am

Must have been a brilliant pilot to be able to fly andtoss fuckers out the door at the same time.
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Re: Argentina: death flight pilot arrested in Spain

Postby Penta » Fri Sep 25, 2009 11:06 am

The important thing, as far as I'm concerned, is that they don't think they've got away scott free.

Since the various amnesty laws were repealed, the processes are going VE-ER-R-Y slowly, but they are going at least.

A woman we knew finally got an investigation and the beginnings of a prosecution started for the murder of her husband in 1976 (never even given a case number as it were until 18 months or so ago), and managed to get all her evidence taken just before she died of cancer. Now the widow of the other man murdered in the same incident, who is our oldest friend here in Spain, is bracing herself to go back and carry on pushing the case forward, and giving her own testimony when - if - it finally gets to court. But she finds it very scary going back to her home town, where the killers are still free, still well connected, knowing who she is, and that she's testifying against them. Because witnesses have started disappearing again.

It has to be done though, I think. That, or a proper truth and reconciliation process as in South Africa, which would be better. But the military in Argentina has shown no indication they're willing to come clean - precisely because they think they can get away with it - as most of them have, so far.

I think some of the people who are so dismissive of the coup in Honduras, or think it's all a bit of a joke, may forget how these memories of coups and dictatorships and the pain that goes with them are still very much alive all over Latin America. That's why all the governments in UNASUR, and in Central America, are so adamant that the golpistas must not be allowed to prevail.
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Re: Argentina: death flight pilot arrested in Spain

Postby coldharvest » Fri Sep 25, 2009 11:29 am

So they're going to take a page from the Big Losers playbook of The Great War on Drugs and go after little fish first?
yeah, that'll work....the big fish will be so remorseful they'll throw themselves in the net.

They know who did it, now just knuckle-up and do the distasteful, vengeful right thing and execute them instead of hiding behind this charade of Justice.
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Re: Argentina: death flight pilot arrested in Spain

Postby Penta » Fri Sep 25, 2009 11:48 am

It's not only the little guys. Videla's pardon was ruled unconstitutional, for instance, and his convictions for mass murder, torture, kidnapping and so on restored, so he's back in prison. Actually, I personally think he's too old to be imprisoned - he must be well into his 80s by now - and should be let back out into house arrest, but he's in a military prison, so I expect they look after him pretty well.

Viola's dead already. Martinez de Hoz is being tried for murder, as, I think, is Harguindeguy. They're either in prison or under house arrest in the meantime.

So the big fish are being dealt with. And the cases against the little fish follow on from that. In the case of the husbands of those particular friends, it was straightforward murder: not following orders; there were no orders against them. Just police being suspicious of a couple of young bearded guys riding motorbikes, following them back to their workshop, and shooting them dead in the street outside because they didn't like the look of them. Which is the sort of thing that went on all the time and will inevitably go on all the time when there's a culture of impunity, the police and army can do what they like, robbing and raping and beating up and shooting, with no comeback, and anyone young who might conceivably be leftish (and being young and bearded was all they needed to decide that) is declared fair game. It was a very dirty war, which extended way beyond guerrillas or militants or even party members, to a war on a whole generation, who were considered "contaminated" and therefore needed to be "cleansed".
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Re: Argentina: death flight pilot arrested in Spain

Postby Caliban » Sat Sep 26, 2009 1:04 am

coldharvest wrote:Must have been a brilliant pilot to be able to fly andtoss fuckers out the door at the same time.


You'd think he'd have noticed that it took less fuelon the way back because of weight differential though.

Twelve years or so ago I was one of several showing a Chilean Colonel of Police around. Afterwards, it seems we had all thought it but no one asked if he had done a lot of flying in empty planes.
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Re: Argentina: death flight pilot arrested in Spain

Postby Penta » Sat Sep 26, 2009 9:47 am

Caliban wrote:Twelve years or so ago I was one of several showing a Chilean Colonel of Police around. Afterwards, it seems we had all thought it but no one asked if he had done a lot of flying in empty planes.


Just as well, really, as it would have given him a chance to start holding forth about the dirty, brutal Argentineans and how the clean-cut and civilised Chileans didn't really go in for that sort of underhand trick (but just tortured people to death instead).
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Re: Argentina: death flight pilot arrested in Spain

Postby Caliban » Sat Sep 26, 2009 7:59 pm

Penta wrote:
Caliban wrote:Twelve years or so ago I was one of several showing a Chilean Colonel of Police around. Afterwards, it seems we had all thought it but no one asked if he had done a lot of flying in empty planes.


Just as well, really, as it would have given him a chance to start holding forth about the dirty, brutal Argentineans and how the clean-cut and civilised Chileans didn't really go in for that sort of underhand trick (but just tortured people to death instead).


Indeed. I think they had their fair share of one way tickets to the Pacific too.
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