Tuesday, April 3rd 2012 - 05:15 UTC

The Peruvian Exocet connection in the Falklands/Malvinas war

It was 1982 and Peru had returned to the path of democracy. Belaunde Terry was elected president, the same man the military ousted in 1968, and he was no friend of military or right wing dictatorships.

President Belaunde Terry played an important role in the attempted peace deal to stop hostilities in the Falklands

However in the midst of the Malvinas war, his heart had a feeling for the Argentine people whom he respected and remembered they had received him when in exile.

Secretary of State Alexander Haig had failed in his mediation efforts between the UK and Argentina, and Belaunde Terry told the US ambassador in Lima he was prepared to attempt a peace deal between Argentina and the UK.

President Ronald Reagan instructed Haig who contacted the Peruvian president and told him he had scheduled a meeting with then Foreign Secretary Francis Pym.

“It was late Sunday in Lima early dawn in Buenos Aires and Belaunde Terry contacted Galtieri and talked to him about the peace proposal. The plan also included the four countries guarantors of the agreement that were to move into the Islands”, recalls Andres Garcia Belaunde, currently a member of Congress and at the time private secretary to the Peruvian president.

Belaunde Terry confessed to Galtieri it had been a really tough job convincing the British to accept the plan and they only did so under strong US pressure.

Galtieri’s reply surprised the Peruvian leader: “Look Mr president I also have a Senate. Let’s talk in the morning”. It was hard to understand since it was a military regime, but obviously Galtieri was referring to his fellow officers of the Junta.

“If the peace proposal had been accepted that night the Argentine cruiser Belgrano would not have never been sunk since it all occurred 24 hours after the phone conversation”, recalls Garcia Belaunde

When the news of the sinking of the Belgrano surfaced the Peruvian president again contacted Galtieri who admitted to not knowing the number of casualties, only that “the vessel was adrift”.

Belaunde expressed his condolences and Galtieri replied there was nothing else to talk about, much less a peace proposal. Haig was then informed but what most struck Belaunde Terry was the fact Galtieri mentioned that in a few hours an Argentine military delegation would be arriving in Lima to talk with him.

The delegation effectively met Belaunde Terry to request Mirage aircraft, fuel tanks and missiles, inaccessible to Argentina because of the arms embargo imposed at the beginning of the conflict.

Argentine military officers also contacted Peruvian Air Force General Jose Espinoza Salazar, who was to organize the purchase of twelve Exocet missiles for the state of Peru, but to be finally delivered to Argentina. The whole operation involved 12 million dollars.

The Exocet missiles had proved their effectiveness with HMS Sheffield.

Espinoza received clearance from Lima and the purchase was set to roll. The Argentine officers would travel immediately to Lima to obtain the authorization to buy the missiles for the Peruvian Air Force.

The operation was code named “Sky-blue and white” (colours of the Argentine flag) and all contacts had to be personal since the Peruvian and Argentine military feared they could be bugged or taped and this would have imperilled Peru’s diplomatic relations with the US and the UK, admitted Espinoza.

By June 7 another Peruvian Air Force colonel Osvaldo Saravia Peña was ready to leave for France to purchase 24 sets of supply and fuel equipments. No mention of missiles.

According to a pre-accord with a French firm “Definsa Stablishment” on signing the contract and checking the missiles, nine million dollars were to be paid with the rest completed once the Exocets were delivered in Lima.

Saravia Peña was blindfolded and driven during three hours before reaching a weapons’ storage where he simply counted the missiles, since he was no expert in the issue and because the French argued they could not test them.

Colonel Saravia Peña then returned to Washington and left the operation in the hands of the Argentines.

However the missiles were never delivered because the French demanded the rest of the money the moment the cargo was shipped and not on arrival at Peru. In the meantime the Argentines had surrendered and the whole operation fell through. The remaining money was returned to Argentina.

The Peruvian Air Force then decided to dishonourably discharge the two officers who were made responsible for the failure of the operation. Espinoza was accused of high treason in 1986 for revealing some details of the operation but the case was later dismissed.

Saravia Peña was later ordered to re-incorporate to the Air Force but fearing he would be the escape goat of the whole operation decided to remain in the US where the once brilliant strategist, first of his promotion was working as a gasoline station attendant.

Thirty years after the Malvinas conflict, the former colonel Saravia Peña is the only ‘Peruvian victim’ of the frustrated operation. He appealed to the Inter American Human Rights Commission to have his disciplinary discharge reviewed and to recover his retirement rights, but the case was dismissed precisely because of the disciplinary discharge.

38 comments Feed

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1 GreekYoghurt (#) Apr 03rd, 2012 - 06:10 am Report abuse
“the same man the military ousted in 1968, and he was no friend of military or right wing dictatorships.”

Well, his actions clearly clearly contradictd his words. He was a friend of the military and right-wing dictatorships because he went and sold them planes and missiles.

I think we all know that Israel and Peru actively helped the Argentinians during the War. We knew that then, we know it now.
2 Skåre (#) Apr 03rd, 2012 - 07:12 am Report abuse
Another sad old cocaine-addled blimp confesses all.
3 Tabutos (#) Apr 03rd, 2012 - 08:04 am Report abuse
Argentina will fail in diplomacy as they did in the conflict, due to the one message the government of UK is giving out

“Britain remains staunchly committed to upholding the right of the Falkland Islanders, and of the Falkland Islanders alone, to determine their own future. That was the fundamental principle that was at stake 30 years ago: and that is the principle which we solemnly re-affirm today.” DC

that message will not move not even an inch, no matter how many other country's side with Argentina, no amount of embarrassing will convince them because there is nothing to be embarrassed about

“We should remind the world that in the years since their liberation the Falkland islanders have repeated - without qualification or equivocation - their wish to keep their constitutional status, their national identity, and to live peacefully with their neighbours in Latin America,” WH
4 GreekYoghurt (#) Apr 03rd, 2012 - 08:56 am Report abuse
The Argentinians will fail because they should never have been allowed into the UN. They don't abide by any of the rulings, they claim the courts have no jurisdiction, they unilaterally walk out of negotiations, and they don't have any respect for self-determination, quite the opposite.

So... the argument of morality is already won.
5 Skåre (#) Apr 03rd, 2012 - 08:58 am Report abuse
However fitting it would have been, I would just like to point out that “sad old cocaine-addled blimp” was not a reference to Diego Maradona.
6 GreekYoghurt (#) Apr 03rd, 2012 - 09:17 am Report abuse
@5 are you talking about the nation of Colombia?
7 Skåre (#) Apr 03rd, 2012 - 09:31 am Report abuse
@6 GreekYoghurt

No, just Belaunde Terry, the comically named Peruvian cocaine addict.
8 GreekYoghurt (#) Apr 03rd, 2012 - 09:57 am Report abuse
@7 Oh, I thought you were talking about the Bolivian president.
9 Skåre (#) Apr 03rd, 2012 - 10:16 am Report abuse
@8 GreekYoghurt

Oh, good grief, no. He would be more of a cocaine-addled zeppelin than a blimp ;)
10 lsolde (#) Apr 03rd, 2012 - 10:33 am Report abuse
And now the Peruvians are vexed & cross with Argentina because this “peaceful” country sold arms to Peru's enemy, Ecuador!
With friends like that, who needs enemies?
So they're “honourable” as well as “peaceful”! heh
11 GreekYoghurt (#) Apr 03rd, 2012 - 10:40 am Report abuse
Peru gave weapons to Argentina to kill British
UK is Peru's second largest investor.
Argentina gave weapons to Ecuador to kill Peruvians
Peru doesn't like Ecuador
Israel gave weapons to Argentina to kill British
Israel doesn't like Iran
Argentina wants to give nuclear expertise to Iran
Iran wants to destroy Israel
Argentina and Brazil don't want nuclear subs in the South Atlantic because it's militarising the Area.
Brazil is building a nuclear sub.

Like seriously, what kind of furkshow is this South American nonsense?
12 GeoffWard2 (#) Apr 03rd, 2012 - 11:24 am Report abuse
There are always these back-corridor deals when it is impossible for the protagonists to deal direct.
And there must always be a 'chinese wall' to separate the buyer/end-user from involvement. This means there will always be a 'fall-guy' to carry the can when things go wrong.
Plausible deniability.

See: idiotsinpower.blogspot.co.uk/2010/07/arms-business.html
and check out the US an - particularly - the UK arms transactions in the Saudi-British Aerospace/BAE Al-Yamamah (Dove) deals, for 'sweeteners, back-handers, and deniabilities, etc.
13 Alexei (#) Apr 03rd, 2012 - 11:27 am Report abuse
@1 GreekYoghurt The Israeli people didn't back the Argentine junta. The individual responsible for trying to illegally supply the junta was Menachem Begin.


Albert Einstein described Menachem Begin as a dangerous extreme right-wing fascist.


He was a mass murderer responsible for several terrorist attacks on civilians Menachem, the terrorist psychopath, hated all things British. Not surprising he did what he could to support Argentina and his fellow fascist Leopoldo Galtieri. Begin grasped with both hands this little opportunity to murder some more Britons. It had been a while since he'd blown up any hotels and shopping centres. British intelligence were well informed, and his best efforts were thwarted.

Incidentally, Menachem Begin, the mass murderer and hotel bomber was another Nobel Peace Prize winner.

14 GreekYoghurt (#) Apr 03rd, 2012 - 11:52 am Report abuse
@13 Alexei, I cannot see what you're saying. Menachem Begin was the prime minister of Israel at the time that the State of Israel agreed to help the Argentinians wage war against the British with weaponry, intelligence and training.

Menachem Begin even formed the Likud which is the current ruling party, and with Netanyahu as prime minister, I'm pretty sure that his doctrine still lives within their ideology of policitical beliefs.

He's not the only Israeli who hates all things British, they have a series of medals for people in the terrorist groups that killed the British, murdered towns full of Arabs and shot dead a UN representative. Most of the terrorists got state funerals. Even now they use British passports to enter arab countries in order to assassinate folks, knowing fully well that the British will get the resulting political blame.

The fact he got a peace prize just outlines how ridiculous the Knobel committee is and outlines why I, like most people, don't give a hoot about those Knobel Not-peace Prize holders and their opinions.
15 aussie sunshine (#) Apr 03rd, 2012 - 12:24 pm Report abuse
hey!! the Americans helped out Britain why couldn´t Peru help out Argentina??? The difference today is that it is not only Peru it is all South America: Ummm and of course there is also Israel! LOL
16 Skåre (#) Apr 03rd, 2012 - 12:28 pm Report abuse
@15 aussie sunshine

Did anyone say that Peru couldn't help Argentina? No, they didn't, so stick that in your propagandist blow hole.
17 lsolde (#) Apr 03rd, 2012 - 12:31 pm Report abuse
@15 argentine sunshine,
Researched who is the current GOVENOR of Australia, yet?
18 Alexei (#) Apr 03rd, 2012 - 01:01 pm Report abuse
@14 I don't think the Israelis held a referendum on helping a fascist South American junta to break an arms embargo, which was imposed by Israel's sole benefactor, the United States. The duplicitous operation was attempted to be carried out in secret, though I wouldn't be surprised to find that, despite the underhanded and devious nature of this attempt to secretly support Argentina, and resulting in the deaths of British servicemen, a significant proportion of the Israeli population may well have condoned it. Considering the devious nature of the Israeli government's activities, I'd like to believe that the majority of Israelis would have considered their government's behaviour as despicable as we do.
19 aussie sunshine (#) Apr 03rd, 2012 - 01:16 pm Report abuse
@ 15 You see I am republican!! so I really couldn´t care a sh*** about your govenor.
20 Skåre (#) Apr 03rd, 2012 - 01:25 pm Report abuse
@19 aussie sunshine

@15 is you, so you are talking to yourself .. and I think you will find that @lsolde's point is that Australia doesn't have a Governor (as you have so pig-ignorantly claimed)
21 aussie sunshine (#) Apr 03rd, 2012 - 01:33 pm Report abuse
LOL yes I was talking to my self back there!!

Ohh we have a govenor alright!! she (MS Quentin Bryce) is situated in canberra and SHE is called a GOVENOR GENERAL even if SHE is a HER.
22 Skåre (#) Apr 03rd, 2012 - 01:35 pm Report abuse
@21 aussie sunshine

No, Australia does not have a Governor - it has a Governor General who is appointed under the authority vested by the Australian Constitution and therefore has nothing at all to do with the UK.

Are you seriously telling me that you are so stupid that you don't even know the difference between a Governor and a Governor General? If that is the case, then why am I even bothering to have this conversation with such an obvious halfwit.
23 JohnN (#) Apr 03rd, 2012 - 01:40 pm Report abuse
Summit of Americas meeting, 14-15 April in Cartagena. Why not email to the OAS members (www.oas.org/en/member_states/default.asp) and to the OAS permanent observers (www.oas.org/en/ser/dia/perm_observers/countries.asp) with message that might include quotes below and any other bits you want to add:

“Britain remains staunchly committed to upholding the right of the Falkland Islanders, and of the Falkland Islanders alone, to determine their own future. That was the fundamental principle that was at stake 30 years ago: and that is the principle which we solemnly re-affirm today.” DC

“We should remind the world that in the years since their liberation the Falkland islanders have repeated - without qualification or equivocation - their wish to keep their constitutional status, their national identity, and to live peacefully with their neighbours in Latin America,” WH
24 aussie sunshine (#) Apr 03rd, 2012 - 01:45 pm Report abuse
@22 to tell you the truth I never cared to know the difference between a govenor or govenor general!! I vote for my Prime Minister and that to me is enough! Governor or governor general is a pain in the butt!!
25 Skåre (#) Apr 03rd, 2012 - 01:52 pm Report abuse
@24 aussie sunshine

Cool .. and, to be honest, I seriously doubt that you would have the mental capacity to understand the very obvious differences between the two.
26 GreekYoghurt (#) Apr 03rd, 2012 - 02:16 pm Report abuse
@18 I don't know. I've never heard an Israeli condone the fact that they helped kill British Servicemen, I just thought it was a part of their history stemming from when the Israeli Stern Gang were trying to get Hitler to let them fight for him. As I said, judging from their continued use of British passports in extra-national assassinations then I'd guess most Israelis don't give a flying-furk about the feelings of the UK or the British.

@23 Just email Captain Ban-Ki Moon of the good ship UN and tell him that the UK will discuss Falklands nationality once he's discussed the sovereignty of Dokdo with the Japanese and agreed about decolonising their territory in the Sea of Japan. It'll simply never happen and put the ball in his court, then we can just sit and eat sandwiches.

@24 You are a complete imbecile. FACT.
27 Stefan (#) Apr 03rd, 2012 - 02:16 pm Report abuse
@11 - Nobody knows. Nobody has any idea.
28 Alexei (#) Apr 03rd, 2012 - 04:28 pm Report abuse
@26 I've not known many/any actual Israelis, as such. Though I've worked with a few jews, who all seemed to visit Israel from time to time. They were generally amicable, quite pro British and pro American, as you'd expect after we saved them from the Nazis. I suppose there's a diversity of opinion, as in most peoples. Zionist racial supremacist middle-easterners and hard core traditionalists from eastern Europe might be more inclined to help out Argentina, not because they support the RG cause, more out of malice. These sorts: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ceaTVuKL8jE
29 GreekYoghurt (#) Apr 03rd, 2012 - 04:40 pm Report abuse
@28 I think you're right. I hold no malice towards Jews at all. Conversely, I think it's perfectly acceptable given their history of belligerence towards the British, who were the main proponents of forming the State of Israel, to note that Israel is not a pro-UK country. Helping the Argies out in 1982 is just the tip of their dislike iceberg.
30 Brit Bob (#) Apr 03rd, 2012 - 06:37 pm Report abuse
@15 Argy Sunshine

The rest of South America doesn't give two hoots about Argentina's claims to the Falkland Islands. They are just whispering quite words of approval to the present deluded regime to be polite.
31 lsolde (#) Apr 03rd, 2012 - 08:50 pm Report abuse
@24 argentine sunshine,
Well, you finally did some research & found out just how stupid you've been sounding.
btw- you don't vote for the Prime Minister.
You vote for individual members of a Political Party.
The Party with the most votes, elects the Prime Minister & he/she selects his/her cabinet.
As an Aussie, you should know this.
But you're not an Aussie, are you?
The whole grammatical structure of your sentences do not fit the speach of an Australian.
Don't know what you are, but most certainly are not an Aussie.
There ARE some Aussies on here, who don't reveal their nationality.
But not you.
You need more practice, old bean.
32 briton (#) Apr 03rd, 2012 - 09:05 pm Report abuse
3 Tabutos
You are correct,

They lost the war,
And now this deluded woman has lost the peace, and British did not lift a finger,
Just a few choice well chosen words,
Once again a dictatorship out witted by a few words,
And again it was British,
We will never ever hand a democracy over to a dictatorship,

33 aussie sunshine (#) Apr 03rd, 2012 - 11:56 pm Report abuse
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz yawn!!
34 Skåre (#) Apr 04th, 2012 - 10:41 am Report abuse
@31 lsolde

I am so glad you saved me the trouble of sharing that obvious truth :)
35 row82 (#) Apr 04th, 2012 - 03:14 pm Report abuse
Please join -

Keep the Falklands British -

36 Luchinni (#) Apr 06th, 2012 - 12:25 am Report abuse
Peruvians never forgot when the U.K. used Chile in 1879 to invaded Bolivia & Peru , that is why Peruvian goverment give exocets to Argentina in order to sink down the Sheffield 1n 1982 & they did not want the royal navy in Peruvian territory last week..
37 lsolde (#) Apr 06th, 2012 - 08:12 am Report abuse
@36 Luchinni,
Why would we want to get involved in your squables.?
We don't own Chile or tell them what to do.
They are their own masters.
l guess any excuse as to why you lost.
Like the stupid Argentines saying that they lost in the Falklands because the whole world was against them.
Then they say that the whole world supports them!
Any excuse, hey!
38 row82 (#) Apr 07th, 2012 - 06:38 pm Report abuse
Please join and press the LIKE button, we would like to expand to over 20,000 members on all three lists...

1. Keep the Falklands British -


2. Falklands Forever British


3. We Will Never Surrender the Falklands


Join the growing cause to protect the Falklands from Argentine aggression!

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