Sunday, 15 April 2012

Argentina : 'I am here to cure you, not to kill you.'


'The battle for the British-controlled Falkland Islands off the coast of Argentina continues to kill, even 30 years after Argentine troops landed there on April 2, 1982. The struggle for a group of windblown islands in the South Atlantic has claimed more lives since the fighting ended than when battle raged. SAMA - the South Atlantic Medal Association, which represents and helps Falklands veterans in Britain - says that at least 264 veterans of the Falklands have now taken their own lives. This contrasts with the 255 who died in active service.

In Argentina, the battle for the Malvinas, as the Argentines call the Falklands, has taken an even higher toll. Much like their US counterparts home from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars - who, in 2010 and 2011, lost more of their lives to suicide than to combat  - it is almost certain that more Argentine veterans have taken their own lives than were killed in the Falklands war, according to Peniel Villarreal, a member of the Federation of War Veterans of Argentina. I met with Villarreal and other veterans in a run-down Buenos Aires suburb in 2009...'


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