Argentina: “death flight” pilot arrested

Spanish police arrested former Argentine military pilot Juan Alberto Poch on Sept. 21 in Valencia on charges by Argentine courts that he flew some of the “death flights” in which as many as 1,000 opponents of Argentina’s 1976-1983 military dictatorship were thrown from planes into the Atlantic while drugged. When he was arrested, Poch, a dual national of Argentina and the Netherlands, was working as a pilot for Transavia, a low-cost airline owned by KLM and Air France. He was arrested while at the controls of a plane in Manises airport, about to fly a holiday group from Valencia to Amsterdam. Spanish police said Poch is named in four separate investigations in Argentina; he will face an extradition tribunal to determine whether he will be sent to Argentina. (The Guardian, UK, Sept. 23)

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, Sept. 27

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