Three Argentine retired naval officers including Rear Admiral Carlos Busser who in April 1982 commanded the first group of Argentines marines to land in the Falkland Islands, have been arrested for alleged human rights abuses during the last military government.
Bahía Blanca federal deputy prosecutor Abel Córdoba from the Special Unit on Human Rights violations confirmed the arrests. Apparently the accusation refers to events which happened in the seventies at Argentina’s main naval base Puerto Belgrano.
Busser in April 1982 was in charge of the so called “Operation Rosario” to recapture the Falkland Islands on April 2nd, 1982. He commanded the Argentine Marines Fifth battalion. Together with members of the Argentine Army they landed in the Falklands and surrounded Government House in Stanley demanding that then governor Rex Hunt handed over control of the Islands.
Argentine forces were under strict orders not to cause victims among the small detachment of Royal Marines protecting the Islands or the local population, thus “avoiding negative propaganda from the UK press”.
However there was Royal Marines resistance and navy Captain Pedro Edgardo Giacchino was killed during the fire exchange, thus “becoming the first Argentine hero of the Malvinas Islands recovery”.
As head of the Rosario operation and the highest ranking officer to land in the Falklands Busser was responsible for demanding the unconditional surrender of Governor Rex Hunt.
Busser in 1976 was the ruling Junta head of the information department and in 1977 commanded a special “anti-subversive” unit operating from Puerto Belgrano and covering a wide area surrounding Bahía Blanca and Punta Alta.
The other two detainees are retired naval captains Hernán Payba and Carlos Padula.