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  • Relatives of those disappeared by the dictatorship show photos of their loved ones, Argentina.

    Relatives of those disappeared by the dictatorship show photos of their loved ones, Argentina. | Photo: Twitter/ @joackog5

Published 5 October 2020
Opinion

To dispel the evidence of their crimes, the military threw political prisoners, alive or dead, into the Atlantic Ocean or the Rio de la Plata.

In Argentina, San Martin's Federal Court begins on Monday a trial for crimes against humanity committed by five retired soldiers who took part in the so-called "flights of death" whereby the dictatorship (1976-1983) disappeared leftist political prisoners.

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“After being transferred to the 601st Aviation Battalion in Campo de Mayo, the victims were loaded, dead or alive, onto planes or helicopters. During the flight, they were thrown into the waters of the Rio de la Plata or the Atlantic Ocean so that they would not be found," the prosecutor Marcelo Garcia said.

"This is how they concealed the clandestine actions carried out by the Armed Forces," he added in the documents of this historic trial.

The five soldiers are directly charged with the kidnapping, torture and murder of four victims. Among them were Adrian Rosace and Adrian Accrescimbeni, two high school students who were kidnapped by the military in November 1976, held in clandestine torture centers, and later thrown into the Rio de La Plata, as local outlet La Izquierda Diario recalled.

"Roberto Arancibia and his wife Maria Zago were also kidnapped in May 1977 from their home while they were with their two children... Maria Eugenia's body never appeared, but Roberto's remains were found in 1978 on Las Toninas coast," it added.

This week, the Argentine justice will be busy processing several trials related to human rights violations during the U.S.-backed dictatorship led by General Jorge Videla.

Tomorrow there will also be virtual meetings to continue with the ESMA IV trial by which the Argentine authorities are investigating illegal deprivation of liberty, torture, homicides and abduction of children perpetrated by the operational groups of the Navy.

On Wednesday, Cordova's Federal Criminal Court will continue the public process against 19 military repressors for crimes against humanity committed against 40 political prisoners linked to the People's Revolutionary Army (ERP).

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Jorge Videla
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