The relatives of the latest 29 Argentine soldiers remains identified in the Falklands will be flying on 13 March to the Islands, to the Argentine military cemetery at Darwin to pray and honor their loved ones. The announcement was done by the Argentine journalist Martin Dinatale, who is usually well informed on Falklands issues.
This new trip in March is part of the joint humanitarian project, shared by Argentina, United Kingdom and the Falklands to bring peace to the souls of the relatives whose loved ones remain unknown since the 1982 conflict, and whose gravestones will be finally identified by their full names and no longer a black stone saying Argentine soldier, only known to God.
It was precisely a release from the Falklands elected government in January which stated in an official release that they would support such a visit as part of the humanitarian obligations, in much the same way the Islands facilitated the DNA process with the International Red Cross which has allowed to advance in the identification of the 121 unmarked graves at the Argentine military cemetery at Darwin.
At the time MLA Barry Elsby, Chair of the Legislative Assembly said that the Falklands' government has been working with the International Red Cross and others since 2015 to identify the unknown Argentine soldiers buried in the Islands, and during that time we have continued to ensure that we meet our commitment to the Geneva Convention which requires that persons lost in combat are identified where possible.
It is another great step for peace and dialogue since bullets have no names and the cemetery at Darwin is a space which belongs to all, to the Argentines, the Islanders and the English, Dinatale quotes Roberto Curilovic a former Argentine naval pilot during the 1982 South Atlantic conflict and one of the coming trip organizers.
According to Dinatale the flight will be financed mainly by the Corporación América of businessman Eduardo Eurnekian and sponsored by Argentina's Human Rights Secretary under Claudio Avruj, UK ambassador in Buenos Aires, Mark Kent, the head of the Malvinas Fallen Combatants Families Commission, Julio Aro, the editorial chief of the Infobae agency, Gabriela Cociffi and retired British army colonel Geoffrey Cardozo. These last three have been pivotal in starting and continuing the identification process.
Thus on 13 March a private aircraft from Corporación América will be flying to the Falklands with the 58 relatives of the latest 29 soldiers identified and authorities. A religious ceremony will take place at the cemetery headed by Buenos Aires Archbishop Mario Polli together with the Falklands Anglican parson and Catholic priest, A bugle will be played at the end of the ceremony by a Malvinas veteran.
British soldiers from MPA will render military honors to the fallen Argentines and families will have time to mourn and pray next to the graves of their beloved and leave flowers. They return to Argentina on the same day.
Avruj quoted by Dinatale said this new trip to the Islands with relatives of the fallen combatants, is a new step in the right path that we must transit to promote dialogue and to discuss all issues with the Islanders, knowing we will never drop our sovereignty claim over the Islands.
Dinatale points out that the Falklands Legislative Assembly has always supported the many flights organized to the Islands to visit and honor the graves of the originally 122 unmarked graves and which now has fallen to 11/12. The Humanitarian Project Plan hammered out by Argentina, UK, Falklands consent and the International Red Cross is continuing with forensic experts working to identify the remains by check crossing DNA samples with relatives.
Every trip with relatives to re-encounter their children is a bridge helping to sustain peace and dialogue with the Islanders, Maria Fernanda Araujo, president of the Malvinas Families told Infobae. From this perspective, the only possible way to recover the Malvinas is through dialogue, peace, overcoming differences and with absence of gaps, added Ms Araujo.
In March 2018, the Falkland Islands Government facilitated a visit by the families of 88 previously identified soldiers. This was a solemn yet successful occasion which balanced the need of the families to show their respects and take part in ceremonies of remembrance, as well as accepting the sensitivities of the Falklands community. The visit was also financed by Corporación América which supplied the air transport.