Port Vila, (PressExposure) October 16, 2009 -- Juan Alberto Poch, 57, Argentinian pilot, was arrested by Spanish police. He is accused of having been part of the âdeath flightsâ, in which hundreds of opponents of his countryâs military junta where thrown out of planes into the sea, during the 'dirty war'.
Poch, with a Dutch nationality, was arrested at the controls of a budget airline Dutch holiday jet he was about to fly from Valencia to Amsterdam. Poch is wanted by the Argentinian courts to answer allegations that he flew navy aircraft on death flights between 1976 and 1983.
The prisoners were informed that they were being moved to another jail. Instead they were drugged to make them drowsy, prior to being thrust onto a plane.
An Argentinian navy captain, also took part in the death flights. Adolfo Scilingo, says the prisoners were given a second drug to knock them out completely, then stripped down and flung out the rear door of a plane, over the Atlantic ocean.
It is understood that up to 1,000 captives, who passed through a detention centre at the naval mechanical school are thought to have been murdered in this way. Poch will face an extradition tribunal.
The Argentinian government reports that more than 11,000 people died or went missing during the 'dirty war'. Human rights groups say that the real number could be nearer to 30,000.
Hidden Army In Britain it has been shown in a study by the probation officersâ union, that approximately 8.5% of those locked up and 6% of those on probation, or parole, are ex-service personnel. That is a âhidden armyâ of around 20,000 convicted veterans, or more than double the total British deployment in Afghanistan. The vast majority of the men have chronic drug, or alcohol problems. More than half of them suffer from stress disorders, or depression, as a direct result of their experiences during active service.
The problems related to trying to adjust back into civvy street for the most part, go unrecognized. Professor Tim Robbin, a consultant clinical psychologist said âIf we are asking people to do appalling things, to take part in regular firefights and hand-to-hand combat, you get to the stage where it de-sensitizes them to violence".
Many of the ex-soldiers find themselves in court charged with a violent offence, particularly in the region of domestic violence.
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