Relatives of killed Falklands War soldiers to return to islands as bodies are identified
Plaques with the name and surname of each registered soldier will be put on the previously anonymous graves, according to the Secretariat of Human Rights, almost 36 years after the conflict. The Secretariat in Argentina will work together with the Commission of Relatives of the Dead in the Malvinas and South Atlantic Islands, and the Foreign Ministry, to coordinate the last part of the process. In December, forensic scientists identified the remains of the 88 Argentine soldiers who had previously been unidentified. Scientists analysed 122 sets of human remains in 121 anonymous graves in the Darwin Cemetery in the South Atlantic. There remain dozens of Falklands War soldiers who not still not been identified One of the graves, which were all marked ‘Argentine soldier only known to God,’ had two bodies.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has been interviewing families of dead Argentine soldiers since 2012 and 107 have consented to DNA testing. During the UK’s two-month war to reclaim the Falklands, which Argentines call the Malvinas, 255 British troops and about 650 Argentine soldiers died. Most of the Argentines that died were on a Navy ship that sank. Argentina still claims the islands, which are a British Overseas Territory, but under the leadership of current president Mauricio Macri, the tone has softened.
Speaking to Infobae, Mark Kent said: “The ties between Britain and Argentina must be strengthened because the conflict has not led us anywhere”. The ambassador did, however, speak of an optimistic future of bilateral relations between London and Buenos Aires, adding: “I am confident that there will be more UK investment in Argentina.”
Relationships between the two governments “are better than yesterday and not as good as they can be tomorrow”, according to Mr Kent. Additional reporting by Maria Ortega