The Museo de las Armas de la Nación (National Museum of Arms) in Buenos Aires is one of the few places dedicated to Falkland's War veterans. A portion of this tiny museum displays uniforms and survival tools used by the soldiers during the 1982 conflict with Great Britain, known in Argentina as the Guerra de las Islas Malvinas. Aside from a guarded plaque that has the names of those who died inscribed in it, the details of the war have been swept under the rug along with the country's other embarrassments. Yet in the wake of new debates surrounding the almost 30-year old battle, BBC news reports that a Museum dedicated solely to the Falkland's War will be opened in the region.
Prior to the war, from 1976 to 1983, 30,000 Argentines vanished at the hands of the Junta military, which had seized control of the country. This was the result of the unruly regime's paranoia that they would be overthrown by ordinary citizens. Women and young children were not spared during these brutal abductions. Many were snatched from their beds in the middle of the night or in public by men posing as police. This harrowing portion of Latin American history is known as the Dirty War.
For Argentina, ownership of the Falklands and victory over the British was a means of regaining the rest of the world's respect after 8-years of watching their people die. Of course, this did not go as planned. One of the most startling facts about the war is that 323 Argentines were killed when the cruiser, General Belgrano was sunk by a British submarine. This remains the largest number of deaths to result in one isolated act during the war.
The war's horrid effects on the once prosperous country are still felt today. Every Thursday in Plaza de Mayo, those who survived the war, along with the families of the missing, peacefully protest the lack of consideration the government has shown them. Many are still suffering physical ailments from battle and living in poverty. It seems that the new museum is a way the mend these hardships. The $20 million institution will open in August of 2013. Ironically, while it represents a preservation of Argentine honor and liberty, the museum will be located in a former detention center used during the Dirty War.
The 30th anniversary of the Falklands will take place on April 3rd.