Argentina Malvinas War veterans marched on Friday in Buenos Aires and protested before the UK embassy demanding London collaborates with the identification of the remains of Argentine soldiers buried at the Darwin cemetery in the Falkland Islands.
The peaceful march organized by La Plata center of former Malvinas combatants, CICR, which also included next of kin marched under the slogan 123 graves without names. 123 graves without being identified. 123 families that hope to know where their loved ones are”.
The National Commission of Malvinas Veterans, director Ernesto Alonso, complained that the UK has evaded answering requests made by the Argentine government and the Red Cross to allow for a DNA identification process to take place. DNA samples have been collected from at least 80 of the families believed to be linked to the 123 NN graves.
“The UK hasn’t responded to any of the requests submitted by the International Committee of the Red Cross to help with the identification of the bodies in the Darwin cemetery,” said Alonso. He recalled that the Red Cross first intervened in the issue after President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner requested their help in 2012.
Allegedly the Argentine government through the Red Cross requested the elaboration of a protocol so that anthropologists can proceed at the Darwin cemetery to check the remains and later compare the DNAs with next of kin samples. The 123 graves with a simple white cross have a plaque reading Argentine solider, known unto God.
With its silence, the UK is showing an absolute lack of humanitarian spirit, you can't play with the grief of the relatives of the fallen combatants insisted Alonso.
The protestors displayed banners and placards in English demanding UK complies with the protocol and opens the way for the DNA sampling and testing of the graves.
The Malvinas veterans said the request was done by the government of president Cristina Fernandez back in April 2012, when the thirtieth anniversary of the Argentine military invasion and occupation of the Falklands, April 1982.
The protestors presented a petition to UK Ambassador in Buenos Aires John Freeman, saying that the Malvinas families have collected DNA samples and the Argentine government has complied with the identification protocol and are only waiting for Prime Minister David Cameron to help and provide light and hope to a cause pending for 33 years.
Apparently embassy staff told petitioners that the letter would be delivered to London and the UK government, would reply directly to the Argentine government
We expect a satisfactory reply, sooner than later”, underlined the organizers of the peaceful rally.
The South Atlantic conflict took off on 2 April 1982 with the military invasion and occupation of the Falkland Islands and concluded 74 days later, 14 June when the Argentine forces surrendered to a British Task Force sent to recover the Islands.
The conflict cost the lives of 255 British, 649 Argentines (mostly conscripts) and three Islanders.
“It's a humanitarian action to begin the search and identification process of the Argentine soldiers buried as 'An Argentine soldier known unto God'”, pointed out the release inviting to Friday's march.