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Falklands' Darwin cemetery identification project next June-September, according to Argentine sources

Saturday, December 24th 2016 - 15:48 UTC
Full article 16 comments
Darwin cemetery where the identification project will take place, with no media present and the area out of bounds for the public Darwin cemetery where the identification project will take place, with no media present and the area out of bounds for the public

The International Committee of the Red Cross, ICRC, team of forensic experts, including two from Argentina, will be working in the identification of unknown Argentine soldiers buried in the Falkland Islands Darwin cemetery, between June and September 2017, according to a report revealed by Argentina's official news agency, Telam.

 The Telam report which mentions government sources, says the four-month project with a cost of US$ 1.3 million will be financed by Argentina and UK, and DNA samples from the remains will be analyzed and compared with those of the families, in a highly professional forensic lab in Cordoba.
“This has been established in the 'Humanitarian Project plan' signed by Argentina's Deputy foreign minister Pedro Villagara Delgado; UK's Foreign Office minister Sir Alan Duncan and Peter Maurer president of ICRC”, says the report.
Argentine and UK delegates have been holding a round of meetings in recent weeks, first in Geneva, at ICRC headquarters and later in London, where the beginning date of the identification project and methodology were agreed.
Telam says that during the four months, activities will be concentrated at the Darwin cemetery, and the final report to be delivered to the next of kin will take an additional several weeks. The Argentine members of the forensic team of experts belong to the Argentine Team of Forensic Anthropology, EAAF, which has international reputation gained in years working to identify victims of the latest military dictatorship.
However ICRC will inform Argentina and UK the names of the forensic team, two weeks before starting this new investigation phase.
Tissue samples will be taken from each of the unknown soldiers' graves, one at a time, and remains immediately reburied in “appropriate coffins”. The ICRC role, is described as exclusively humanitarian, deployed in neutral mediation, ensuring remains are treated with the utmost dignity and that the graves will be returned to their original state following forensic actions.
ICRC will regularly transport lots of samples to the Cordoba lab, specially created for the Latin American Initiative for Identification of Disappeared persons, where they will be tested with blood sample taken from family members. According to Argentine diplomatic sources, over 80 of the 123 graves with unknown soldiers have agreed to the identification process.
During the months forensic experts will be working in the Darwin cemetery, media will not be allowed and the area will be out of bounds for the public. A temporary morgue will be mounted at the cemetery for collecting and protecting samples. Finally the US$ 1.3 million funded by Argentina and UK will finance labor, lab tests, purchase of material and equipment, expenses while in the Falklands plus transport costs.

Top Comments

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  • Jo Bloggs

    Ah, now it makes more sense. I wondered how they were going to handle finding remains that don't match the DNA of soldiers thought to be buried there and vice versa. This project is part of a larger programme that includes the ID of many thousands of missing Argies.

    As for the catering requirements. I am sure Shorty, Carl, Alex, Julie, Bonnie, Michelle and others will be happy to provide very competitive tenders to feed the workers.

    Dec 24th, 2016 - 05:36 pm +6
  • Troy Tempest


    “Who is in charge of the catering...?”

    Not funny.
    Just couldn't resist being a dick, could you?

    Why don't you just go cuff your wife or box her ears for her? It will still give you satisfaction, but you won't have to insult the Islanders on MP

    Dec 24th, 2016 - 06:22 pm +3
  • Pete Bog

    “Who is in charge of the catering...?”

    Obviously not the RG army, in 1982 they had huge stockpiles of food in Stanley, and 100s of their troops went starving. So to make sure the catering works, and people actually get fed the Islanders will do it. Why not sent some RG catering firms over, to learn 'how to do it properly' from the islanders?

    Dec 24th, 2016 - 07:39 pm +3
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