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Montevideo, March 25th 2023 - 07:34 UTC



'Useful conversation' in Stanley for Argentine Families

Wednesday, May 16th 2007 - 21:00 UTC
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L. de la Colina preparing the logistics for November's next of kin visit L. de la Colina preparing the logistics for November's next of kin visit

Plans for the projected visit to the Falkland Islands in November of up to eight hundred Argentineans took a step forward in Stanley on Wednesday when Leandro de la Colina had what he described as a ”useful conversation' with four of the eight elected members of the local government.

Mr. de la Colina, who lost his father when an Argentine Air Force Lear jet which he was piloting was shot down over Pebble Island in the North West of the Falklands' archipelago, is Treasurer of the Comisión de Familiares de Caidos en Malvinas e Islas del Atlantico Sur, the organisation which represents all those Argentineans who lost family members during the 1982 conflict. He is currently making his fifth visit to the Falkland Islands. Speaking to Mercopresslater in the day, Mr. de la Colina said that the major theme of the discussion with the Falkland Islands councillors was the practical issue of how to arrange a fitting, dignified and private visit to the Islands of a large number of people â€" ideally one representative from each of the Argentine families which had lost loved ones during the war â€" which far exceeds the current capacity of the Island' to accommodate. In view of the shortage of suitable accommodation and the current ban on charter flights to the Islands imposed some years ago by the current Argentine government, Mr. de la Colina said that the only practical solution was the use of a cruise vessel, but so far one had not been found and there was still no certainty, therefore of when the actual date of the proposed visit might be. The Families Commission was, said its representative, engaged in the preliminary stages of preparation for the visit, which at the moment consisted primarily in selecting the persons who would visit, from each of the provinces of Argentina and ensuring that they had the necessary documentation. The prime purpose of the visit, which would not include any participation by the Argentine government, would be a service of inauguration of the Argentine military cemetery at Darwin and the installation there of a statue of the Virgin of Lujan. During the meeting with councillors in their Stanley office, la Colina said that they had taken the opportunity to communicate their displeasure at a recent incident at the cemetery when the Argentine national flag had been hoisted by a group of visiting ex-combatants and their hopes that there would be no further repetition of such an incident, which had generated a considerable amount of annoyance locally. According to la Colina, this incident was much regretted by the Families' Commission as it threatened the good relationship they had enjoyed with the local community in the Falklands during all of the twenty-five previous visits made by groups of their members. Mr. de la Colina said that he had welcomed the opportunity to have a face-to-face talk with councillors and to reiterate the Commission's desire to prevent any further such occurrence, which might generate conflict. John Fowler (Mercopress) Stanley

Categories: Politics, Falkland Islands.

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