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Falklands: Argentina war cemetery vandalised

05/08/2012

The Argentine war cemetery in the Falklands, where the bodies of more than 200 soldiers are buried, has been vandalised.

The glass that protects a figure of the Virgin Mary at the cemetery has been smashed and shattered.

The glass that protects a figure of the Virgin Mary at the cemetery has been smashed and shattered.

The cemetery, which lies on a hilltop near Darwin, was the renewed focus of attention earlier this year when ceremonies were held to mark the 30th anniversary of the war.

Two hundred and fifty-five UK servicemen and three Falklands civilians died in the war.

An estimated 650 Argentines were also killed.

The commission representing the relatives of Argentina’s fallen in the 1982 conflict sent a note to the British ambassador in Buenos Aires, John Freeman, and Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman.

“We believe this act reflects escalating hostility by certain British sectors who are influential locally,” the note said.

The Argentine foreign ministry issued a statement demanding that the UK government mount an immediate and impartial investigation.

The statement also called on Britain to “end its continuous display of arms, submarines and nuclear capabilities, in violation of international treaties”.

No excuses for desecration of Argentines’ Falklands cemetery

The cemetery was constructed under British military supervision in 1983 after Mrs Thatcher’s humane and well-meant offer to repatriate the bodies to Argentina was refused by the Argentine government. Argentina’s fallen were buried with full military honours and the graves are immaculately maintained by the authorities.

On a hill outside Darwin (very near Goose Green), it is a bleak and forbidding place partly redeemed by a kind of wild beauty and its dramatic setting. It is not just the final resting place of Argentina’s soldiers, sailors and airmen killed in action on the Falklands themselves, but also a memorial to the 323 Argentine sailors lost at sea in the sinking of the Belgrano.

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