The coming trip to the Falkland Islands for the official inauguration of the memorial at the Argentine cemetery in Darwin, “somehow represents the end of a long mourning period”, but at the same time “re-signifies the strong meaning that the Malvinas have for the Argentine people”, said Cesar Trejo representative of the Malvinas Families Commission.
The first two Saturdays of October, 375 Argentine next of kin of combatants killed during the 1982 conflict with Britain, will be travelling to Rio Gallegos and then to MPA on the regular weekly Lan Chile flight.
Trejo revealed that contrary to the 24 previous trips to the Islands when only next of kin of the 270 buried in the Argentine cemetery in Darwin travelled, “these two trips include relatives from the sailors lost during the sinking of the General Belgrano cruiser, which represent half of all Argentine losses during the (74 day April-June) conflict”, said Trejo.
“The relatives of the fallen in Malvinas can’t let happen what occurred when we soldiers returned from Malvinas in the middle of a well organized black-out”, said Trejo emphasizing that “this trip gives us the chance of re-signifying what was the Malvinas epics”.
Furthermore, even when the next of kin trip to the Islands “is strictly humanitarian, it’s not an intimate event, on the contrary we want the Argentine people to have the possibility to participate. We can’t allow Malvinas to be taken as an episode from the dictatorship”.
With this in mind the Malvinas Families Commission has organized a program of activities in Buenos Aires from October 2 to 9, including the exhibition “Malvinas: Islands of the Memory” which will be shown at the Obelisk, plus conferences, documentaries, visits to schools and religious services”.
The first lot of next of kin on Friday October 2 will participate of a farewell mass at Buenos Aires Cathedral with Argentina’s primate archbishop Jorge Begoglio
“The Malvinas question is intimately linked to the Argentine people, since it is present along all our history, and in spite of the pretended de-malvinization, people act and react as if 27 years had not gone by”, said Trejo.
“The deep Malvinas feeling, which is overwhelming, is underground and is in the heart of the Argentine people: it comes from down upwards while the de-malvinization process is from up downwards”.
Trejo then compares the Malvinas conflict with what happened “on December 19 and 20 when the Argentine people took to the streets, with no leadership but to discuss things that really matter”.
On December 2001, elected President Fernando De la Rúa decided to resign overwhelmed by loss of political control and street rioting.
“In one case the people took to the streets to give significance and soul to a banned democracy and in the other to question a democracy which was unable to deliver, to address and solve problems”, he stressed.
Trejo alleges that “we were wrong when we said it was all the workings of a drunken general (former dictator Leopolpd Galtieri), no it wasn’t that way. The people re-signified Malvinas and gave another meaning to the war; a people that beginning April 2nd recovered the possibility of expressing itself and began again to talk about imperialism and strongly question the dictatorship”.
And therefore “that is why the trip of the next of kin is important, it will help us reencounter the past; de-malvinization tried to erase all of that”.
Finally Trejo was grateful to the Argentine government of President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner that is financing the whole operation and the Argentine Foreign Affairs ministry which is in charge of organization and logistics.