The Argentine government reactivated the National Committee of former Malvinas combatants which will support legal actions against crimes committed by Argentine officers during the 1982 conflict and demand DNA tests to identify the 123 remains buried in the Darwin cemetery in the Falklands.
Head of the renewed committee was named Ernesto Alonso a Malvinas veteran, who has been one of the driving forces behind the investigations into crimes committed by Argentine officers against their own soldiers during the conflict.
Alonso belongs to the La Plata chapter of the Malvinas former combatants centre and will be accompanied in the board of the organization by Juan Jose Fernandez and Isidoro Abel Rausch, from the Malvinas Veterans organization and former conscript Carlos Martin Zini.
The board will also have a representative from the next of kin, in this case Norma Gomez sister of a soldier disappeared during the conflict in Falklands, plus representatives from different Argentine government departments.
Alonso and the board will have as their first task to normalize the functioning of the committee originally created during the term of former president Carlos Menem but which was more inclined to follow instructions from the military brass.
When the Kirchner couple took office in 2003, the committee somehow diluted and in 2004 was declared under administrative intervention.
The new committee depends from the Ministry of Interior but will not address issues related to the post-war which remain under the responsibility of the Argentine Ministry of Defence.
Alonso promised a new focus and efforts will concentrate on two issues: together with former conscripts from Chaco (northern Argentina) the committee will continue to support demands against military officers accused of abuses and the other issue, DNA tests on the remains of the 123 Argentine combatants buried in the Falklands’ Darwin cemetery that are classified as “only known to God”.
“We’re after a new paradigm in the Malvinas Islands claim based on the concepts of democracy and sovereignty, dismounting the militaristic emphasis created by the dictatorship which bears the main responsibility for the ‘de-Malvinization’ process. Memory, truth and justice for all, are the pillars of our actions”, said Alonso
The Argentine governments recently requested the International Red Cross to act as an intermediate before the UK government to allow forensic teams into the Falklands to identify the remains in the Darwin cemetery.