Coinciding with the historic visit of Tony Blair, the first British Prime Minister to set foot on Argentine soil at Iguazu Falls, former Argentine President, General Leopoldo Galtieri, has been profiled in a London newspaper.
The big circulation Mail on Sunday carries a three-page feature headlined: "Frail and reeking of whisky ...how Galtieri, the dictator who forced Britain into war, hides from his brutal past". It asks: "What became of the puffed-up, bellicose and drunken dictator who led his country into the Falklands War ?"
The article describes how Galtieri, now 74, he lives on a £1,200 a month (nearly 1,800 dollars) army pension in a modest one-bedroom £110,000 (170,000- dollar) Buenos Aires apartment, in Villa Devoto, where he is "a virtual prisoner, trapped by poverty and old age.... while his adversary at the time of the Falklands War , Margaret Thatcher, now enjoys a quiet but hugely lucrative retirement -- she earns two-million pounds a year (nearly three-million dollars) on the international lecture circuit --and is still regarded, particularly in America, as the greatest British politician since Winston Churchill.
"The man she roundly defeated is a pathetic shadow of his former self....
Once ferried around in a stretch limousine and given a personal bodyguard of 20 Argentine secret forces members and an annual salary of more than one million pounds (nearly one and half million dollars), today Galtieri is shunned within his own country, a broken figure of a man who smiles pathetically when a stranger approaches brandishing a notebook".
The "stranger" in this instance is the Mail on Sunday's North American correspondent, Caroline Graham, who writes: "The limousine and the bodyguards have long gone: Galtieri drove up in a battered old Ford Escort. The former dictator slowly emerged from the car and walked with faltering footsteps towards the apartment he shares with his wife, Lucia, 63.... Galtieri's breath stank of whisky despite the early hour. His eyes were bloodshot and runny, his skin ruddy and heavily pockmarked".
Living a quiet, modest lifeHe agreed to be photographed with the Mail's correspondent but still refuses to give interviews. "I live a very quiet life", he told her. "I see my grandchildren. I live very modestly. I do not wish to be a public figure. I just wish to be left alone to live out my days".
Galtieri dreads the prospect of being thrust into the limelight when the 20th anniv