Last week the Falkland Islands Government approved under Falkland Islands law the exhumation of the body of Flight Lieutenant Luis Dario Jose Castagnari. Mr Castagnari is buried at the Argentine Cemetary near Darwin in the Islands, having perished during the 1982 war.
This process has commenced at the request of his Widow, who has expressed an intention to re-patriate the remains of her husband to Argentina. To get to this point there has been joint work between the Falkland Islands Government, UK Government, the Argentinian Government and the family.
This request comes after the recent work undertaken by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to identify the remains of soldiers who were buried without identification shortly after the war ended in mid-1982. That process has been very successful and led to a number of next of kin visiting the Islands in April of this year to pay respects to those soldiers who were identified by the ICRC.
It is not yet clear if this will be the start of a number of potential repatriations, especially by those families who have now had their loved ones identified. Each exhumation will need to follow the proper legal process as well as requiring considerable logistical planning. It is noted by the Falkland Islands Government that the plan is for Mr Castagnari to be placed in a coffin and then returned to Argentina by charter plane.
The Falkland Islands Government is responsible for the local legal and practical elements of this process and continue to work through other necessary steps.