- Title: VARIOUS: FUNERAL TAKES PLACE FOR FORMER MILITARY DICTATOR LEOPOLDO GALTIERI
- Date: 14th January 2003
- Summary: (W6) BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA (JANUARY 13, 2003) (REUTERS) SLV FUNERAL PROCESSION ARRIVING AT CEMETERY WITH MILITARY ESCORT; MOURNERS; MV COFFIN WITH MILITARY CAP (7 SHOTS) (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) GENERAL RICARDO BRINZONE, COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF THE MILITARY, SAYING: "In a period of upheaval he acted upon his convictions, the results of that are now part of history." SLV MILITARY OFFICERS SALUTE (AUDIO BUGLE PLAYING) MV FUNERAL; MV WIDOW AND FAMILY LEAVING CEMETERY (8 SHOTS) SLV PROCESSION OF "THE CHILDREN" THOSE WHO WERE DISAPPEARED IN ARGENTINA'S "DIRTY WAR"; MV "CHILDREN OF" DESTROYING FLORAL WREATHS (3 SHOTS) (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) JULIO TALAVERA, MEMBER OF THE GROUP "THE CHILDREN" SAYING "This is the same blood that flowed in the veins of the disappeared you son of a bitch." (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) JULIO TALAVERA, MEMBER OF THE GROUP "THE CHILDREN", SAYING "You are an assassin, a son of a bitch and we will never forgive you for killing 30 thousand of our colleagues, for the murder of our parents, for robbing our brothers, for robbing us of our family possessions. We will never forgive you and we will always be here, even if there are only three of us." SLV MEMBERS OF THE PROCESSION LEAVING THE SITE; SCU REMAINS OF FLORAL WREATHS (3 SHOTS) Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 29th January 2003 12:00
- Location: BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA AND FALKLAND ISLANDS
- Country: Argentina
- Topics: Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVAEY6GQI4ME2MQTXWIR3LVCP2KM
- Story Text: The funeral of Leopoldo Galtieri, the former Argentine military dictator who ordered Argentina into the 1982 Falkland Islands war with Britain, took place at a Buenos Aires cemetery.
Leopoldo Galtieri will be remembered by many for Argentina's disastrous attempt to occupy the remote and disputed Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic Ocean which sparked the rapid downfall of his dictatorship. The junta was later found responsible for the "Dirty War" deaths and disappearance of up to 30,000 people.
Thousands of dissidents were drugged and thrown alive from aircraft into the sea or rivers. Others were buried in secret graves which have still not been found and babies were stolen from pregnant detainees who were then killed.
Galtieri and other junta leaders were imprisoned for human rights crimes shortly after democracy was restored in 1983.
But they were given amnesties and freed in the late 1980's and 1990.
Galtieri's detention was ordered last year on the basis of a ruling that the amnesty itself was unconstitutional and was later found guilty of human rights abuses committed during the 1976-1983 military junta. He had been living under house arrest since July, 2002.
The 76-year-old former dictator died on Sunday morning (January 12), of heart and respiratory problems and on Monday (January 13) friends, family and colleagues attended a military procession and memorial service in Buenos Aires.
General Ricardo Brinzone, Commander in Chief of the Military, who attended the funeral said: " In a period of upheaval he acted upon his convictions, the results of that are now part of history."
A small group who called themselves "The Children"
(Children of the Disappeared) were less diplomatic and in an act of protest smeared their blood on the door of Galtieri's mausoleum.
"This is the same blood that flowed in the veins of the disappeared you son of a bitch." said Julio Talavera, leader of "The Children".
"You are an assassin, a son of a bitch and we will never forgive you for killing 30 thousand of our colleagues, for the murder of our parents, for robbing our brothers, for robbing us of our family possessions. We will never forgive you and we will always be here, even if there are only three of us."
Described by historians as an alcoholic who sought to divert attention from an economic collapse by grabbing the islands to which Argentina has long laid claim, Galtieri was forced to resign after Britain defeated Argentina in the war and reasserted its sovereignty over the Falklands.
Galtieri's departure paved the way for democratic elections in Argentina a year later. He later admitted he thought Britain would not put up a fight for the Falklands, which Argentina calls the Malvinas.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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