The Argentine government is trying to agree with the UK on the humanitarian mission to identify the remains of an estimated eighty Argentine combatants (from 1982) buried in Falklands' Darwin cemetery, but there are still details to reach, more political than technical, since the Falkland Islanders insist in being part of the official documents, something “which is unacceptable for the Argentine foreign ministry”.
The statement belongs to Maria Teresa Kralikas, head of the Malvinas Affairs Office who insists the purpose of the mission is only humanitarian and does not affect the Argentine rights over the Malvinas Islands, and looks to settle a historic debt with the relatives of the fallen combatants who remain unidentified. Finally because of this initiative the combatants will be identified at their final resting place in the Darwin cemetery.
According to Ms Kralikas sometime in December the two delegations of negotiators (Argentina and UK) are scheduled to meet in Geneva, where is the seat of the International Red Cross which will chair the round of talks.
Among pending issues, according to the Argentine foreign ministry are accords more political than technical, such as pressures from the Islanders to be included in the documents as part of the negotiating sides, a wish which is recurrent from the colonial government of the Malvinas but unacceptable for the Argentine foreign ministry.
The ministry admits that contacts have been established with relatives of 83 of the 123 fallen combatants which remain unidentified, although efforts are ongoing to contact the remaining forty.
Of the 83 families, eighty have agreed for the identification, through DNA to go ahead, as conditioned by Red Cross protocol, while one family denied to give its consent and another two have asked for more time to decide.
Apparently the idea is to have a team of six to eight forensic experts led by the Red Cross, of which Argentina will name two. However the samples to be taken for DNA testing will be analyzed at the Argentine Anthropology Forensic Team (EAAF) which was accepted by both sides given the international prestige of the team gained during years of identifying the remains of disappeared victims from the last Argentine military dictatorship.
The Argentine side has asked that when the remains are returned to their graves they should be reburied in new coffins, and has also warned that Argentine forensic experts have anticipated that maybe some will not be able to be identified given the time elapsed.
Following the signing of the agreement with the UK, Argentina expects that towards the end of next year or beginnings of 2018, the identity of some of the remains could have been confirmed. Next of kin have been warned that the process and reaching results will take time.
The Argentine media recalls that the initiative, responding to demands from the relatives, dates back to 2012, and was in effect advanced by the administration of ex president Cristina Fernandez but later, in 2014 it was paralyzed.
Finally the ministry sources underline that last 13 June the Argentine government authorized the Red Cross to make a technical assessment mission to the Malvinas, based in an accord from 2013 by which Argentina facilitates the Red Cross to operate in the whole of the national territory for the normal compliance of its activities.