The Rear Admiral who headed the landing and invasion of the Argentine forces in the Falkland Islands on 2 April 1982 died over the weekend. Carlos Büsser was under house arrest for his alleged participation in crimes against humanity during the last military dictatorship although he was never convicted.
Born in 1928 in Rosario, Büsser finished the Naval School in 1951 and later obtained a degree in Business Administration.
Very close to Admiral Eduardo Emilio Massera, the Navy’s representative in the military Junta that ruled from 1976 to 1983, he first occupied the job of Under secretary of Public Information when the Junta ousted President Isabelita Peron and took control of the Argentine government.
In April 1982 Büsser was assigned responsibility for Operation Rosario and landed in the Falklands at the head of the Third battalion of Argentine naval marines with the purpose of achieving the surrender of the Falklands’ former governor Rex Hunt.
Years later in an interview with Buenos Aires daily La Nacion he revealed that his orders were for his invading group, which included tactic divers and a hundred marines to obtain British surrender without any military or civilian causality which was only achieved on the British side, which suffered no life losses.
However, the military reply from British forces protecting the Falklands at the moment of the invasion caused the death of an Argentine navy officer: Captain Pedro Giacchino.
The invasion on 2 April and control of the Falklands by the Argentine forces would a few days later trigger the South Atlantic conflict which concluded 74 days later, June 14, with the complete surrender of the Argentine forces to an UK Task Force sent by then PM Margaret Thatcher to recover the Islands.
“I believe the decision to recover the Malvinas and South Georgia Islands was correctly adopted by the Argentine government. If later on we committed execution mistakes and we lost the military confrontation, it does not diminish value to the message that for ever Argentina sent to the British government regarding our determination to recover the Malvinas”, Büsser was quoted by La Nacion, years later.
At the end of the conflict he was named chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, post he occupied until the return of democracy in Argentina on 10 December 1983.
In 2009 he into custody for his alleged participation in human rights abuses during the military dictatorship. Although he was never convicted, because of his age Büsser remained under house arrest. He was 84.