The demand presented by Malvinas war veterans who claim to have been tormented, abused and even tortured by their Argentine military superiors during the 1982 South Atlantic conflict, already involves 60 former officers and statements from over one hundred witnesses.
In 2007 the Coordinating office for Malvinas Veterans from the province of Corrientes together with the Human Rights office presented evidence of such abuses to Argentina’s Defence minister Nidia Garré and the Federal Court in Tierra del Fuego which under the Argentine constitution also has jurisdiction over the disputed Falkland Islands.
Veteran Gustavo Pascua, one of the sponsors of the demand revealed that last February the demand was considered by the Argentine courts as “war crimes and crimes against humanity”.
“This was part of the repression policy and mentality of those years under the military dictatorship of the seventies and early eighties”, said Pascua who presented evidence of “tormenting, ground staking, death by inanition and even a homicide” in the Falklands/Malvinas territory, involving officers from Argentina’s three services.
“During 26 years those responsible for the defeat and humiliation of Malvinas tried to tell another story, threatened democracy with the Malvinas cause by imposing impunity bills, acting dishonestly with the next of kin and never accepting responsibility or self criticism”, added Pascua.
The initiative from Corrientes veterans was followed by former combatants from Chaco, Santa Fe and Buenos Aires, who also provided evidence of sufferings under their Argentine military officers.
Among the most shocking cases are the homicide of a conscript; the death by inanition of three soldiers and the ground staking under freezing temperatures and for ten hours of another soldier.
All these crimes allegedly were committed in the Falkland Islands during the 1982 conflict.
“In the list of witnesses we have three petty officers who ratified our claims”, said Pascua. He added that it was necessary to review the past, not with vengeance spirit but to build a better future for all Argentines and jail all those responsible for crimes committed during the war and in the Malvinas Islands.