Argentine soldiers finally identified after 36 years in unnamed graves

World Today

They’re known as the nameless soldiers of the Malvinas. Since Argentina’s war with the U.K. in 1982 over the islands, more than 120 Argentine soldiers have lain in unmarked graves.

Now a new identification process is changing that, and many families finally have the chance to say goodbye.

CGTN’s Joel Richards reports.

Families often assumed their loved ones’ bodies were in the Darwin Military Cemetery on the Malvinas, in one of its 122 unidentified graves. For many years, the graves simply read, “Argentine soldier, known only to God.”

In 2012, Argentine war veteran Julio Aro began the campaign to identify the unnamed graves after visiting the islands. In 2016, Aro’s campaign lead to Britain and Argentina allowing the Red Cross to start DNA testing. To date, 90 bodies have been identified. Last week, relatives made a historic visit to the newly identified graves.

Argentina’s Human Rights Secretary Claudio Avruj said this process has helped families through their grief.

“These are very individual experiences, very unique, but when you see the faces of the mothers and parents, this has been a healing process,” Avruj said.

Despite lingering tensions over the 1982 war, the islands’ community supported this initiative. But some families chose not to take part, and there are still more than 30 unidentified graves in the cemetery.