Falkland Islands probe: Argentina starts search to identify soldiers killed in war

Falkland Islands probe: Argentina starts search to identify soldiers killed in war

29/07 - 14:54 - ARGENTINA will start a search to identify remains of Argentine soldiers who died in the Falklands War in 1982.

The second stage of the humanitarian mission will begin on August 9. The team in charge of the process will include the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), an expert from the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team, and a British specialist. The experts will all travel to the Falkland Islands after completing a week of quarantine because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

They will then start to identify the remains in the multiple tomb C.1.10, near the main cross of the Darwin cemetery.

The first phase of the Humanitarian Project Plan began in 2012 when more than 100 bodies were identified.

The governments of Argentina and the United Kingdom agreed that the ICRC will carry out the identification of the remains belonging to unidentified Argentine soldiers.

The committee will carry out the archaeological exhumation of the remains, the analysis and documentation of all human remains and the collection of DNA samples.

The collected samples will be taken to the laboratory of the Forensic Anthropology Team based in Cordoba for analysis.

The recovered human remains will be temporarily placed in the exhumed grave at the cemetery.

Once the DNA results are available, the second analysis and classification of the remains will be carried out.

Daniel Filmus, the Secretary of Malvinas, said: “The main objective is to address the anguish that the families of the soldiers who died in Malvinas have experienced all these years because they could never identify where the remains of their loved ones rested."

Another exploration will also be carried out in Caleta Trullo to verify the existence of another tomb.

If remains of Argentine soldiers are found, the identification will advance to the next stage.

Mr Filmus said: “It was agreed that taking advantage of this trip, the team that goes to Malvinas will also work in that area, to see if there are remains of Argentine former soldiers there."

The official specified that works in Darwin will take place between August 16 and 20, before they move to Trullo afterwards.

He added: “The important thing about this process is that it is a State policy that began in 2012 with the government of Cristina Kirchner, and in 2016 the agreement with the Red Cross was signed."

Mr Filmus further argued that the identification process "is important because it is a recognition by Argentine society and its Government of the courage and struggle of those who died in Malvinas.

"The Argentine government is very grateful to the Red Cross because it played a very important role in mediating with the United Kingdom to make the identification process possible.”

He continued: "Without the Red Cross, this would have been impossible.”

The politician also highlighted "the will of the Government of Alberto Fernández and the Foreign Minister Felipe Solá to make every effort so that between this year and the next the entire identification process can be completed".

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.

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