BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Sunday, 12 January, 2003, 23:40 GMT
Galtieri death 'no great loss'
Simon Weston
Simon Weston was on board the Sir Galahad
Falklands veteran Simon Weston has said that the death of former Argentine military dictator General Galtieri is no great loss.

He told the BBC that the man responsible for the 1982 invasion of the Falkland Islands had never paid for his crimes.

People disappeared and were never found again and the families will never know now

Simon Weston
Mr Weston suffered horrendous burns when he was caught up in the blaze which swept through the Sir Galahad troopship, killing 47 people and injuring 97.

The former Welsh Guardsman spoke of the loss suffered by the families of the British soldiers killed, but said the greatest suffering had been in Argentina, where thousands of people were disappeared.

Dirty War

Mr Weston said: "I think he played a big part in my history, in my life, and all the guys that went down and all the families that were involved.

Galtieri
Galtieri was arrested last year on human rights charges
"But ultimately I think his passing won't be missed by anyone other than, perhaps, his family."

Speaking of the victims of Galtieri's dictatorship, Mr Weston said: "I don't think that he actually paid for his crimes, most of all in what he did in Argentina.

"There's thousands of people who died at his hand there, people disappeared and were never found again and the families will never know now."

Galtieri was the third of four generals to run Argentina between 1976 and 1983, holding the presidency in 1981 and 1982.

During that time around 30,000 people disappeared, in what became known as the Dirty War.

Galtieri, who was 76, triggered a war with Britain when he invaded the Falkland Islands, known in Argentina as the Malvinas.

The Sir Galahad
The bombing of the Galahad killed 47 people
A 10-week war followed, during which 913 people died, including 655 Argentines, 255 British troops and three Falkland islanders.

Hostilities formally ceased on 20 June 1982, but by then Galtieri had resigned.

He was tried for human rights abuses in 1985 and jailed the following year, for "incompetence" during the Falklands War.

Galtieri was freed in 1990, but was held under house arrest from July of last year when a new investigation into his past began.

At the time of his death he was suffering from cancer of the pancreas, but sources at the military hospital in Buenos Aires where he was being cared for say he died of a heart failure.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's James Robbins
"Defeat forced him from power"
Jimmy Burns, Journalist
"There was a huge climate of fear"
Celia Szusterman, Westminster University
"He was responsible for leading Argentina into the worst military adventure"
See also:

25 Mar 01 | Americas
12 Jul 02 | Americas
12 Jul 02 | Media reports
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more UK stories are at the foot of the page.


 E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more UK stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes