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Montevideo, May 24th 2024 - 03:53 UTC



Falklands: PICTO 21 group told to expect no help from FIG or MLAs

Friday, February 17th 2023 - 07:00 UTC
Full article 41 comments
“I hope that you will enjoy your stay in our beautiful country,” MLA Short told the visiting group while adding that no cooperation could be expected from local authorities “I hope that you will enjoy your stay in our beautiful country,” MLA Short told the visiting group while adding that no cooperation could be expected from local authorities

The so-called PICTO 21 group of Argentine visitors to the Falkland Islands looking for an accounting approach with which to measure ”the economic impact of the illegal occupation ... by the British government” will have no assistance from the local Legislative Assembly, it was announced.

MLAs have made it clear they would not engage in any activity the group plans to undertake, although the nine travelers arriving on last week’s LATAM flight were wished an enjoyable visit.

The study group reportedly intends to focus on geographical, biological, economic, and historical aspects “linked to the exercise of Argentine sovereignty over the Falklands, Antarctica, and the South Atlantic.” Their scientific projects are funded (AR$ 32 million, or between US$ 165,000 and 84,200 depending on the exchange rate applied) by Argentina's National Agency for the Promotion of Research, Technological Development and Innovation (R+D+i Agency). Other funding sources, such as universities, will also contribute to the campaign. MercoPress sources in Buenos Aires noted that since as per Argentine law all travel to the “Malvinas” is regarded as domestic, all exchange surcharges would not likely apply. Hence, a more favorable rate is likely to have been used.

Regarding the trip, the Falklands Islands Government (FIG) said in a statement that “The expressed aims of those working under the PICTO 21 banner is to study various aspects of the Falklands in order to use information gathered, which seems to range from economic to military and even geological through to a study of the biota in the Falklands and then use the information to try and formulate policies aimed at furthering their unwarranted and unjust claim against our country and also to undermine the Falklands economy.”

Writing to one member of the visiting group MLA Gavin Short notes to Ms Gessaga, “We will not engage with you or offer any support to you or members of your team in any activities that you may wish to undertake in the Falklands, now or in the future.

“The reason for our stance is that your proposed activities are linked to an Argentine Government initiative known in your country as PICTO 21 which has, at its very heart, a series of activities aimed at undermining the Falklands and in some way strengthening your unjustified claim on our country and denying our right to self-determination by work that will inform future policies to be used against the Falklands.”

The project is headed by accountants Ricardo Andrés Frías and Maia Gessaga who reportedly travel with researchers from other nodes for the purpose of carrying out some field work by collecting information, which will include interviews with the different relevant actors that inhabit the archipelago.

Mr Frías said in a statement from the Tierra del Fuego University “our development focuses on the use of accounting techniques to measure the impact of this occupation and the illegal activities carried out by the English government that usurps these territories, regarding the unrestricted use they make of natural resources, which go against the whole management that our country has, regarding fishing, minerals, and oil around the islands.”

He added that “the idea is to generate scientifically-based tools and knowledge so that the Argentine government and the foreign ministry of our country can review and generate future policies that reaffirm rights and have a more forceful impact regarding the claim of sovereignty.”

A further quote from the group said it would include “mapping of military activity” which “has an increasing presence on the islands and is, to a large extent, outsourced, since there are more and more private military forces that interact with the UK government.”

MLA Short concluded that “whilst I hope that you will enjoy your stay in our beautiful country, I end by iterating that we as MLAs and the Falkland Islands Government will not meet with you or cooperate in any way with a project that sits under the PICTO 21 banner, something which has been set up in cooperation with the Argentine government to seek evidence and gather information that will form part of work to shape aggressive policies towards our country.” (Source: Penguin News)

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  • RedBaron

    Imagine what would happen if a bunch of British 'accountants' would try to travel to Argentina to research the economic and other effects of the usurpation of the aboriginal lands in Argentina (or some such nonsense).
    Jeremy Clarkson was effectively harried and kicked out of the country for simply organising a motoring tour, so British accountants would probably get 15 years in prison!!!

    Feb 17th, 2023 - 11:12 am +7
  • Steve Potts

    In the end they are just a bunch of sovereignty fantasists and self-determination deniers from the Republic of Narnia. 0 value.

    Feb 17th, 2023 - 10:15 am +6
  • Islander1

    Big part of the info they can see- but of course will not write about is the current trade figures that show Falklands imported £125 million of goods and products from UK in 2922 all paid for by us - and the UK imported just £25 million from the Falklands

    That means that even to a dumb Arg journalist - we pay into the UK economy- 5 times more than UK pays into our economy in terms of straight import/export. trade.

    Feb 17th, 2023 - 11:25 am +6
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