In short

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Portrait of Stanley Greene, Paris, 1994 © Bernard Plossu
Portrait of Stanley Greene, Paris, 1994 © Bernard Plossu

From 1976 until 1983, in Argentina, the military planned to exterminate all their antagonists. For approximately 5,000 opponents of the Argentine dictatorship, “destino final” (final destination) gained an atrocious meaning: drugged, unconscious, and loaded on military planes, in what is infamously known as the “death flights”, they were thrown, still alive, into the Río de la Plata, just before it reaches the Atlantic Ocean; their final, definitive destination. Just a few of their bodies were recovered. Their families are still looking for their remains and seeking punishment for the guilty.

The Destino Final project includes the search for the aircraft involved in the “death flights” and the successful research, conducted by Italian documentary photographer Giancarlo Ceraudo – a specialist of Latin America – led to the discovery, after more than 30 years, of five Navy planes used for this purpose, together with their detailed flight plans. Giancarlo Ceraudo (1969 – Rome, Italy) is a documentary photographer.

According to jurists, these plans are considered to be among “the most important documents about the dictatorship found in the last 10 years”. On 12 April 2011, after examination of this evidence, the prosecutor of the court of Buenos Aires ordered the arrest of three of the pilots allegedly involved in the death flights. All three pilots are currently in detention awaiting trial.

The book Destino Final, published by Schilt, includes texts by Miriam Lewin, ex-desaparecida and journalist; Horacio Verbitsky, political writer and investigative journalist; Baltasar Garzón Real, revered Spanish judge; Enrique Piñeyro, ex-air pilot, and plane crash analyst; Taty Almeida, founding member of the Madres de Plaza de Mayo; and Carlos ‘Maco’ Somigliana, anthropologist and member of the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team (EAAF). Destino Final is edited by Arianna Rinaldo.

Giancarlo Ceraudo, Destino Final

Published by Schilt Publishing

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