The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Second Humanitarian Project Plan has identified the remains of four Argentine combatants from the 1982 Falklands/Malvinas war buried in grave C.1.10 at Darwin's military cemetery under wrong names, it was announced Tuesday.
After matching the genetic material flown to the Argentine Forensics Anthropology Team's (EAAF) laboratory in Córdoba, the mission “has put an end to almost 40 years of uncertainty about what happened to his loved ones.”
The DNA samples were carried by ICRC's top forensic anthropologist and EAAF founder Luis Fondebrider on a private flight arranged by businessman Eduardo Eurnekian after the relatives of the fallen members of the Alacrán Squad had volunteered biological elements for the testing.
The result of the genetic analysis determined 4 new identities that were buried in grave C.1.10: Sub-lieutenant Guillermo Nasif; First corporal Marciano Verón, First corporal Carlos Misael Pereyra and Gendarme Juan Carlos Treppo.
Scientists were also able to confirm the the identity of remains belonging to Second Lieuitenant Ricardo Julio Sánchez, who had been buried in C.1.10 under his own name thanks to an identification card found by the team of British Colonel Geoffrey Cardoso's which took care of the original burial arrangements after the war.
The HPP2 hasa also been able to ratify the identity of the skeletal remains of Corporal First Víctor Samuel Guerrero, who is buried in an individual grave already identified.
The six Gendarmería Nacional servicement died when their Puma helicopter was shot down on Mount Kent on May 31, 1982.
Argentine President Alberto Fernández said on Twitter that the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team and the Red Cross identified the remains of four of our former combatants who died in Malvinas. My emotional embrace, 39 years later, to their families. Glory to those who died for the Homeland.”
Thanks to the excellent work carried out by the ICRC forensic team and the EAAF Laboratory (Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team) staff, it was possible to identify the remains of 6 Argentine ex-combatants who died in the Malvinas, which were found in grave C.1.10 of the Darwin Cemetery, Argentina's Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
We were able to identify the remains of six people and give answers to their families, after so many years. All families deserve to know what happened to their loved ones; I am very moved to be part of this process and put an end to the uncertainty of the families, ICRC's Laurent Corbaz pointed out.
We want to thank all those who gave their unwavering support to make this project possible, both on the islands and elsewhere, he added.
Meanwhile, Fondebrider acknowledged that the mission has been fruitful, despite the fact that the weather conditions were sometimes very harsh and added that the identification was possible through the application of international forensic standards and a multidisciplinary approach. Thus, we hope to help alleviate the suffering of the families.”