War Criminal Arrested in Valencia

During Argentina’s Dirty War of 1976-1983, the military government sponsored and supported violence against its own citizens, attempting to root out dissidents and radicals. By most accepted accounts, over 30,000 Argentines were murdered.

One of the war’s more notorious practices was the “Death Flights”. Suspected dissidents would be drugged and put on a plane, then unceremoniously dumped into the Atlantic. Hundreds of such flights occurred, with thousands drowned. One of the pilots suspected of participating in them, Julio Alberto Poch, was arrested yesterday in Valencia’s Manises airport.

Poch is a pilot for the Dutch Transavia airline, who offer cheap flights to Amsterdam. Spanish agents detained him in accordance with a Argentine warrant. The accused murderer had been living in the Netherlands, protected from extradition thanks to his dual Dutch citizenship.

It’s hard to believe that Transavia would employ a criminal as one of their pilots — a man who dumped drugged “passengers” to their deaths in the ocean, and later boasted about it (according to an Argentine judge). Terrifying. I’d like to believe that the airline didn’t know, but the warrant was issued last year. All of a sudden, €53 from Valencia to Amsterdam doesn’t sound like such a great deal.

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