Argentine veterans from the 1982 Falklands/Malvinas war with Britain reiterated on Wednesday a request for the identification of 123 unknown comrades buried in the Falkland Islands.
The request was presented by the Malvinas War Veterans branch from La Plata, to Julio Alak, Justice and Human Rights minister. It follows the presentation last August of an appeal before a federal court with the purpose of identifying the remains in the NN graves.
“In the Malvinas Darwin cemetery there are 234 graves of which 123 have no names and only have a plaque which reads ‘Argentine soldier, only known to God’” said Ernesto Alonso a member of the board from the Veterans organization.
Alonso recalled that at the end of the conflict in June 1982 “many bodies remained in the battle fields and the identification was left in the hands of the British, but in 123 cases they couldn’t do it because they did not have the ID ‘dog tags’ with names or any other element to help with the identification”.
Minister Alak said that in “today’s Argentina the identity is a superior value which the State defends and claims, as has been the case in the hundreds of babies stolen by the macabre terrorist machine of the dictatorship”.
Malvinas veterans are demanding the participation of the Argentine Anthropology Forensic Team, EAAF, a organization which has earned international acknowledgement for its identification of disappeared persons during the 1976/1983 dictatorial regime that ruled Argentina.
“We’re requesting the Executive to take the necessary steps so that a team from EAAF can work at the Argentine Memorial in Darwin and helps to identify the remains of our comrades and the probable causes of their death”, said Alonso.
“It’s a humanitarian request to which the British I’m certain will not object, when thirty years of the conflict have gone by” added Alonso recalling that in Europe they are still identifying the remains of combatants from the two world wars.
During the 74-day conflict following the Argentine invasion of the Falklands on 2 April, 255 British, 649 Argentines and three local civilians lost their lives. Most Argentine losses occurred when the sinking of ARA Belgrano.