Buenos Aires Times

argentina Concern over ‘death flight’ cases

Historic ESMA verdict due today

The historic 5-year trial concludes today with verdicts on crimes against humanity allegedly committed by the 54 surviving defendants at Buenos Aires's ESMA torture centre.

Wednesday 29 November, 2017
Mother of Plaza de Mayo-FL member Vera Jarach toured Buenos Aires's Memory Park with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in June, 2017. Navy death flights took off from the same area during Argentina's dictatorship to disappear their victims' bodies in the river and sea.
Mother of Plaza de Mayo-FL member Vera Jarach toured Buenos Aires's Memory Park with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in June, 2017. Navy death flights took off from the same area during Argentina's dictatorship to disappear their victims' bodies in the river and sea. Foto:Télam

The court trying former military and police personnel for their involvement in crimes against humanity at the former ESMA concentration camp in Buenos Aires will this afternoon hand down its sentence.

Fifty-four people are on trial over crimes, many of which have been proven in separate trials, that saw approximately 5,000 of the former dictatorship’s political enemies tortured and disappeared.

Human rights leaders and survivor told the Times that they are specifically concerned about the prospect that the court will be lenient on those involved in the so-called “death flights”, which the Navy instrumented to dispose of victims’ bodies.

“We’re nervous and a little concerned about the death flights”, Vera Jarach, Mother of Plaza de Mayo-Founding Line, told the Times. “Rumours have reached me about an unfavourable verdict”.

A survivor with close connections in the Comodoro Py courthouse, requesting to remain anonymous, also confirmed the rumours.

-TIMES

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