A historic meeting took place at the Argentine Embassy in London this week when Edgardo Esteban, an Argentine ex-combatant who fought in the 1982 Malvinas war and wrote a memoir about his experiences, met with British veterans for the first time.
The unlikely gathering was hosted by the Embassy, which screened the Tristán Bauer film based on Esteban’s book, Blessed by Fire (Iluminados por el Fuego).
“The cruel military dictatorship that was ruling Argentina at the time went to war as a means of retaining power,” Argentine ambassador to the UK Alicia Castro said. “In the same way that Margaret Thatcher’s conservative government prevented a peaceful solution as it sought electoral gain.”
The book and film both detail the human rights abuses suffered by Argentine troops at the hands of their own superiors during the bloody six-week conflict with the United Kingdom, an account bolstered by the release of previously secret military documents hailing from the period earlier in the year.
The documents were made public by President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s administration following a concerted campaign by veterans group Centre of Former Combatants in the Malvinas Islands (CECIM) who demanded their release.
They detail, as Esteban’s memoir does, the torture and horrific conditions Argentine conscripts were subjected to by the military hierarchy during the 1982 war.Read more HERE
Dave Brown ex Parachute Regiment soldier received an official Invite from the Argentine Embassy in London for the Screening of Blessed By Fire, and also to meet again with Edgardo Esteban a former Argentine Conscript and now a good friend of Dave. A very Emotional evening all round and some genuine Hospitality and friendship. This had nothing to do with politics but Reconciliation amongst veterans who still suffer as a result of the Falklands Conflict in 1982.
(RG) When you try to take the politics from the dispute it is always the servicemen that do the politicians bidding on the battlefield and its only those servicemen that really know what the consequences of War really is, the leaders just sign a piece of paper. It may be hard for some people to understand but I would be willing to shake the hands of the pilots that tried to kill me in 1982, yes they were the enemy but they were extremely skilful pilots and extraordinarily brave. I pray that the politicians will talk to those of us that have done their bidding before once again signing the death warrants of many with the stroke of a pen.