Tuesday, May 21st 2013 - 06:34 UTC

Falklands: optimism about identification of the unknown Argentine soldiers

An Argentine delegation involved in human rights that in early May visited the Falkland Islands is optimistic about the possibility of advancing in the identification of the remains of Argentine soldiers buried as unknown in unmarked graves at the Darwin cemetery.

Hector Ortega (Second from L) head of the Chaco delegation that met with representatives from the Falklands elected government

Darwin cemetery that holds 238 graves of which 123 remain unidentified, ‘only known to God’

“Despite some objections from the Islands’ authorities we trust that next summer the identification process can get started” said Hector Ortega from the Human Rights Secretariat of the Argentine province of Chaco, to the north of the country.

Ortega and a small party of Chaco officials and Malvinas veterans recently visited the Falklands and formally requested the Islands Legislative Assembly to have a meeting to address the issue. Falklands’ lawmakers accepted and attended the meeting to listen what the visiting delegation had to say.

Of the 238 graves in the Argentine cemetery in Darwin, 123 have no names. The issue of identifying the remains is not new and is not unanimous among the relatives of the soldiers killed during the 1982 conflict.

“I think we can continue to advance along the path to the restitution of identities and I believe this will finally go ahead. Most probably at the Darwin cemetery, I’m very optimistic about it”, said Ortega.

“The meeting with the local authorities was very positive because of the very amiable environment. They accept the task to be done by the International Red Cross and understand the need for the Argentine mothers to know where their children are buried”, pointed out Ortega.

However the Falklands lawmakers put an only small condition: “that 100% of all relatives agree, unknowing how the law system works in our country”.

There were other points addressed at the meeting, one of them referred to witnesses of torture incidents committed by Argentine military officers against their own soldiers, but “this was left to the people to decide”

“They said it was a matter for those who want to step forward and give their witness testimonies. As government and as elected representatives of the Islanders they will not get involved in this issue. They were very diplomatic and don’t want to get involved in an internal problem of Argentina, and we know it is very difficult that an Islander would want to get involved. Nevertheless we have two people that can be witnesses”, said the Chaco provincial government head of human rights secretariat.

Ortega added that he felt that the Islands government representatives were not totally aware as to how negotiations through the International Red Cross had been advancing “since the organization did not ask for 100% of next of kin approvals but a significant percentage”.

Since President Cristina Fernandez announced on April 2 that already 91 relatives had adhered to the proposal and of that number, 44 had been analyzed, studied and visited by the Human Rights Secretariat from Chaco in the whole of the north of Argentina, “this is a more than important, significant number to go ahead with the identification process in the Darwin cemetery”, concluded Ortega.


43 comments Feed

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1 commonsense (#) May 21st, 2013 - 07:48 am Report abuse
Hold the front page ..... An Argentinian that actually accepts that the islanders exist and that they have a government AND that they do not want to get involved in Argentinian internal affairs.... he is bound to win a one way ticket to a government sponsored parachute jump, without the parachute...
2 Lord Ton (#) May 21st, 2013 - 10:58 am Report abuse
So - the Falklanders have 'authorities” :-)
3 Eddieposted (#) May 21st, 2013 - 11:11 am Report abuse
The bodies are being used for political purposes by the argentine government - they should be returned to argentina for identification and reburial.
4 Biguggy (#) May 21st, 2013 - 12:26 pm Report abuse
@ 3Eddieposted
I believe if you delve far enough back you will find that was offered but Argentina declined saying that they were 'home'.
I believe you are correct though in that 'they' are being used for political purposes, despicable!
5 Simon68 (#) May 21st, 2013 - 12:47 pm Report abuse
Eddieposted and Biguggy, I believe that the group from the Chaco really have no political axe to grind. They truly represent the relatives of the Argentine war dead, and wish to return their identity.

There is absolutely NO doubt at all that CFK and her gang are using these young men and their relatives as political amunition, but there really are “good” Argentines, we are not all despicable thugs like the kirchnerist plague!!!!!
6 CJvR (#) May 21st, 2013 - 01:08 pm Report abuse
Just send the poor fellows back home, then Argentina can ID them to KFC cold stony heart's content. The British should have done than from the start rather than let a succession of foul Argie regimes continue to abuse the fallen who have suffered enough.
7 Conqueror (#) May 21st, 2013 - 02:05 pm Report abuse
@1, 2 Argie papers refer to them as “British” authorities, so it's not much of an advance.
@5 It doesn't really matter whether this group from Chaco has any political agenda or not. It's the way it will be used.
@6 I agree. Argies like to go on about “their war dead in their soil”. Well it isn't their soil and never has been. And Falklanders shouldn't accept a load of argie “scientists” trampling around making it up as they go along. So dig whatever's left up, shove it in a container and ship it. Then there won't be any argie invaders buried in British Falklands soil!
8 TroLLey_to_Truth (#) May 21st, 2013 - 02:08 pm Report abuse

Why should Argentina recognize your “internal administrative” system, which is needlessly complicated no one in the world understands it anyway (Britain, UK, Great Britain, England... what are you?), when your country refuses to recognize Argentina is a federal state?
9 andy65 (#) May 21st, 2013 - 02:29 pm Report abuse
@TroLLey_to_Truth, Do us all a favour and hire a boat preferably in a sea worthy condition and a few hundred black bin liners and take the corpses back where they came from.
10 TroLLey_to_Truth (#) May 21st, 2013 - 02:42 pm Report abuse
You've yet to pick your own corpses from Normandy 70 years later and let the French build an amusement park or a good bourguoise beach resort on prime real estate, and you are buggered by this?
11 andy65 (#) May 21st, 2013 - 03:29 pm Report abuse
@TroLLey_to_Truth The ignorant peasant that you are I think you will find the French are more than happy to let the commonwealth and other country's dead rest in peace in there soil but lets be honest It was an effort to even send back the living to Argentina if my memory serves me right
12 Simon68 (#) May 21st, 2013 - 03:56 pm Report abuse
10 TroLLey_to_Truth (#)
May 21st, 2013 - 02:42 pm

The Brits, Canadians, Indians, Australians, New Zeelanders, South Africans and the Yanks have their compatriots buried in French soil from 1914-1918, in other words almos 100 years and the French have not complained about it!!!!!!!
13 TroLLey_to_Truth (#) May 21st, 2013 - 03:57 pm Report abuse
So why do the Brits bitch about about the Falklands cemetery? Thank you all for proving my point of their racism and intolerance.
14 andy65 (#) May 21st, 2013 - 04:06 pm Report abuse
@TroLLey_to_Truth They have every right to dislike a bunch of THUGS rotting in there soil have you forgot these bastards invaded a peaceful small community being the cowards that Argentines obviously are and take note of the words SMALL COMMUNITY
15 Simon68 (#) May 21st, 2013 - 04:07 pm Report abuse
13 TroLLey_to_Truth (#)
May 21st, 2013 - 03:57 pm

Maybe its because in the Falklands ours was an invading force, whereas in France and Belgium the Brits, Commonwealth and US troops were liberators!!!!!
16 TroLLey_to_Truth (#) May 21st, 2013 - 04:17 pm Report abuse
Then how about Britain going to Isla Gorriti and taking their corpses out of there? That's where they buried many of their dead in the 1806 and 1807.

Hint: The british were not “liberating” anything in that embarrassing defeat!
17 reality check (#) May 21st, 2013 - 04:18 pm Report abuse
Racist and intolerant.

Q. What do you call someone who sends a young man into a war and then denies him his name, when he gives his life in that war?

A. Argentinian.
18 andy65 (#) May 21st, 2013 - 04:24 pm Report abuse
Fact-Argentine officers sexually abused young Argentine conscripts
Fact-Argentine officers starved and ill treated Argentine conscripts

WHAT A LOVELY BUNCH YOU ARE or are you going to blame The Junta the very people you were praising and waving your flags at when the invasion started
19 reality check (#) May 21st, 2013 - 04:32 pm Report abuse
1806 1807 again.

Okay you can have that! You being a contemporary expert on embarrassing defeats that have occurred in living memory, you should now what your talking about.
20 TroLLey_to_Truth (#) May 21st, 2013 - 04:42 pm
Comment removed by the editor.
21 andy65 (#) May 21st, 2013 - 04:45 pm Report abuse
@ TroLLey_to_Truth If you can find a boat in Argentine waters that actually floats you are more than welcome to go remove them Argentine thugs if I had been in charge you would have been given 48 hours notice to remove them or they would have been dumped at sea
22 CJvR (#) May 21st, 2013 - 04:54 pm Report abuse
@13 - “So why do the Brits bitch about about the Falklands cemetery?”

They don't, the Argentine regime does.
23 andy65 (#) May 21st, 2013 - 05:04 pm Report abuse
Am I reading this right Argentines want The Islanders to step forward who bear witness to torture and ill treatment from Argentine officers towards Argentine soilders?? WOW seriously, they have a nerve
24 Simon68 (#) May 21st, 2013 - 05:57 pm Report abuse
23 andy65 (#)
May 21st, 2013 - 05:04 pm

I believe quite a few Islanders witnessed Argentine officers torturing their conscript troops. It would be marvellous if some of them would act as witnesses in legal proceedings against those criminals.

A nephew of mine who died in the Islands was possibly tortured to death by an NCO, according to some of his fellow conscripts, although none of them would bare witness against the alledged killer!!!!!

Both his parents a now dead so I don't think anything will ever come of his case.
25 Conqueror (#) May 21st, 2013 - 06:11 pm Report abuse
@8 Not our problem.
@10 But you see, the French were, and are, grateful that we went over and destroyed the nazi invaders. Falklanders, I gather, feel much the same way.
@13 Might it be because your faggots were unwelcome invaders? You know, being Spanish.
@16 Not “your” problem. It was, after all, Spanish territory. Why don't you ask the Spanish? Alternatively, you could ask the government of Uruguay. Will you be digging up the Uruguayans, the Germans, the (proper) Americans, the Russians and the Dutch as well?
26 andy65 (#) May 21st, 2013 - 06:25 pm Report abuse
Simon68, I was more shocked that these people wanted to involve the islanders as witnesses after all they don't exist so would be rather difficult getting a statement from someone who does not exist in the eyes of the people requesting help Unbelievable.
27 briton (#) May 21st, 2013 - 06:26 pm Report abuse
Aparently trolly=
is off his trolly lol.
28 golfcronie (#) May 21st, 2013 - 06:45 pm Report abuse
The unknown Argentinian soldiers who died in the FALKLANDS war could not be identified because it was the Argentinian Junta that sent them to war without dogtags ( a circular disc with name and number for identification in the event of a soldier dying in battle ) so really is down to Argentina to identify their dead. Why did the Junta send their soldiers into battle without the essential dogtags?
29 Biguggy (#) May 21st, 2013 - 07:33 pm Report abuse
I have no way of knowing but I suspect that many Argentinian 'relatives' may well be disappointed by what is found in those 'unknown', graves.
As I understand it quite often only 'small pieces' are buried and indeed pieces of one individual may be in more than one grave.
30 RICO (#) May 21st, 2013 - 08:25 pm Report abuse
16 - Trolley..blah...blah

I think you will find those British buried in 1806 and 1807 were fighting a war of liberation - liberation of Switzerland, Netherlands and Northern Italy which were occupied by France and their Spanish allies (puppet state) which as part of Spain the colonies of Buenos Aires and the River Plate should take their share of responsibility, you were as part of Spain shipping resources to Europe for Spain and France to use in their war of conquest and imperial expansion, which they of course lost despite having a 5-1 numerical advantage over the British and their allies.

How did end - France forced to return to its old boundaries and the leader of your alliance Emperor Bonepart slung in jail. The King of Spain - Joseph Bonepart was force to flee to French ally the USA taking the Spanish crown with him. Britian and its allies liberated not only the Netherlands, Switzerland and Northern Italy but also Spain by removing its puppet King and their actions also led to the liberation of Venzuela and eventually the other Spanish colonies including the colony in Buenos Aires and the sorrounding areas.

So not only was Margaret Thatcher critical to Argentinas liberation from the Junta, Wellington and the British were also critical to the independence of the Spanish possessions in what is now Latin America including Argentina.
31 Think (#) May 21st, 2013 - 09:07 pm Report abuse

I count one, two, three, four, five English turnips wanting to remove the Argentinean dead from Malvinas….....

Not even Johnny Turk would ever dream about removing those 22,000 Tommy, 9,000 Aussie and 3,000 Kiwi dead infidel invaders from Gallipoli…..

It only shows the moral fiber English Turnips are made of……
32 Anglotino (#) May 21st, 2013 - 09:08 pm Report abuse
Oh Nostrils, look what you have become.

33 Islander1 (#) May 21st, 2013 - 09:11 pm Report abuse
TTT - It is only Argentina who“bitches” about Darwin Cemetery, We Islanders RESPECT it and the lads who have lain there at peace for 30 years - their God knows where each one of them is buried and his name.
Think you will find there are also German War Cemeteries in France etc - slight little difference- after those wars Germany dropped its territorial claims! I visited an Italian one in Northern UK a few years ago- it is well cared for by the locals there. Clue - Italy is now an ally and friend of UK.
Same for the I presume reasonably cared for graves of British dead in 1805 and 07 - UK was attacking Spain-Spanish Sov Territory then -not Argentina as it did not exist!
Oh - and it was Argentine Soldiers who REFUSED to assist in identifying their own dead to the British after the battles in 1982. So that is indeed why so many are unknown - because Argentines who knew who they were - refused to name them.
The same Argenina who reused all form of co-operation with UK after 1982 on what to do with their own dead. remember it was UK - and their Humanitarian Action that caused the Argentine dead to be collected up and given a formal Christian burial in 1983 - Argentina refused all contact.
34 Anglotino (#) May 21st, 2013 - 09:23 pm Report abuse


I count one, two, three, four, five English turnips wanting to remove the Argentinean dead from Malvinas….....

Not even Johnny Turk would ever dream about removing those 22,000 Tommy, 9,000 Aussie and 3,000 Kiwi dead infidel invaders from Gallipoli…..

It only shows the moral fiber English Turnips are made of……”

Thank you for showing how mature countries such as Turkey, UK, Australia and New Zealand can deal with these matters in a way that respects the dead and improves ties and relations amongst our peoples.

Pity Argentina can't do the same.

So nice when you actually criticise your own government for a change.
35 ChrisR (#) May 21st, 2013 - 09:54 pm Report abuse
I have, from the beginning of this fiasco with TMBOA and the bodies left on the Falklands, thought that the only solution is to return the bodies to the argie mainland for them to do what they want with them.

There will be of course accusations of ‘suspicious wounds’, probably a single pistol shot to the head that will inevitably be laid at Britain’s doors even though they would clearly be of the Juntas making.

But the rest of the world apart from SA will know the truth of the matter and the Falklands will be rid of this shameful Argentine political football which continues to this day with the damage to the little dolly.

I do of course have sympathy with the bereaved but they have a bigger cross to bear in the form of TMBOA.
36 andy65 (#) May 21st, 2013 - 10:41 pm Report abuse
Call me heartless I have no sorry for these people cast your minds back 31 years ago remember those scenes of Argentines dancing in the streets waving there flags kissing the juntas ass,you get what you vote for there is no one else to blame.
37 golfcronie (#) May 21st, 2013 - 10:53 pm Report abuse
Bought those shares yet?
38 Islander1 (#) May 22nd, 2013 - 01:33 am Report abuse
Think - like, I suspect the majority here- I am happy for the dead to remain where they have lain in peace for 30 years- at Darwin Cemetery.
Like what I am pretty sure is also the majority wish of Islanders - IF the unknown are to be exhumed for DNA Testing in Argentina - then yes OK - ALL will be exhumed and returned to Argentina.
Then all of those boys can be returned to their families - and no more politics for silly Argentine Politicians to keep on playing! And you can then refuse overflight to Lan if you like without affecting your next of kin visits. You could face opposition from the Arg Veterans though who VALUE their trips here to bury ghosts and put minds at rest.
Interesting chat today with a local lady who met one of the Chaco Vets last week on Wirelss Ridge where he had fought- he asked her if he could shake her hand person-to-person and say sorry for all the stupidity and death on both sides - all caused by a drunkard President.
They shook hands and agreed it was a pointless and stupid affair your late President of 1982 started.
Oh- dont come the about dictators- he was the Argentine President like it or lump it - and millions of Argentines applauded him
in April 1982.
39 Redrow (#) May 22nd, 2013 - 07:13 am Report abuse
@33 and 34

Or Cannock Chase German Cemetery just north of Birmingham. Most of the 5000 German casualties of WW1 & 2 who died in the UK are buried in a beautiful and fascinating cemetery that is immaculately kept by the CWGC. They died here and should stay here. Britain and Germany will remain close allies either way.
40 CJvR (#) May 22nd, 2013 - 07:45 am Report abuse
@31 - “Not even Johnny Turk would ever dream about removing those 22,000 Tommy, 9,000 Aussie and 3,000 Kiwi dead infidel invaders from Gallipoli…..”

Well if the Empire's successor states used them to claim ownership of Istanbul and the Bosporus things might well be very different.
41 Conqueror (#) May 22nd, 2013 - 11:00 am Report abuse
@31 You are quite welcome to keep your dead in Malvinas. That would be in Cordoba. However, these particular remains are in the soil of the British Falklands. Since, as you and your government regularly prove, argies have NO moral fibre, it is hardly appropriate for you to comment on ours from your twisted perspective. See, wherever British remains are buried, we don't promptly trumpet that the entire territory is ours. But, despite all the evidence to the contrary, you do. You don't even have the courtesy to call our territory by the name we gave it long before your “country” existed.
So when you poxed mangelwurzels finally get around to dragging yourselves into the 20th century, it's obviously beyond you to get to the 21st, admit that the Islands belong to Britain and the Falklanders, use their correct name and quit your ridiculous “claim”, you can expect no change in our attitude. View it as consideration on our part. Sending the remains to argieland would enable you to carry out as many tests as you want for as long as you want. You could build a whole temple for them. Your own people would save all the money they have to spend getting to the Falkland Islands and back. They would be able to “visit” more often. We would not be contributing to your delusions. The space on the Falkland Islands could be put to some useful purpose. Benefits all round!
42 Tim (#) May 22nd, 2013 - 06:19 pm Report abuse
”There were other points addressed at the meeting, one of them referred to witnesses of torture incidents committed by Argentine military officers against their own soldiers, but “this was left to the people to decide”.

I think you will find that the torture incidents were committed by NCOs and not officers. How many officers were on the front line?
43 ChrisR (#) May 22nd, 2013 - 09:40 pm Report abuse
@42 Tim

After the first shot back at them by the Brits: NOT ONE OF THEM.

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