“During Argentina’s Dirty War and Operation Condor, many alleged political dissidents were abducted or illegally detained and kept in clandestine detention centers such as ESMA, where they were questioned, tortured, and sometimes killed.
Eventually, many of the captives were heavily drugged and loaded onto aircraft, from which they were thrown alive while in flight over the Atlantic Ocean in the so-called “death flights” or (vuelos de la muerte), so as to leave no trace of their death. People murdered in this way (and in others) are today referred to as “the disappeared” (los desaparecidos).
The phrase was recognized by de facto President General Jorge Rafael Videla when he said in a press conference “They are neither dead nor alive, they are desaparecidos (missing)”. It is thought that between 1976 and 1983 in Argentina, up to 30,000 people (8,960 named cases, according to the official report by the CONADEP) were killed or disappeared. According to a declassified cable, an estimate by the Argentine 601st Intelligence Battalion in mid-July 1978 (which started counting victims in 1975) produced a figure of 22,000 persons killed or “disappeared”—this document was first published by John Dinges in 2004.”
(edited for brevity)
Argentina is only one of MANY countries where this kind of thing happened.