30 Years Since the Falklands War

Next Monday, April 2, will mark the 30th anniversary of the start of the Falklands War -- or, as the Argentinians refer to it, la Guerra de las Malvinas. The Falklands, an Atlantic archipelago 460 km (290 mi) east of Argentina, are the subject of a long-standing dispute between Argentina and the United Kingdom. In 1982, Argentinian junta leader General Leopoldo Galtieri sent 600 troops to take the islands, which then had a population of 1,800 people. The British government was surprised by the attack, but quickly organized a task force and sailed south to retake the territory. A brief but bloody series of battles took place at sea, in the air, and on the ground, ending with a British victory on June 14 -- 74 days after the initial invasion. In all, more than 900 people were killed and more than 2,000 injured. The loss marked the beginning of the end of Galtieri's junta, but not the dispute over the islands. Current president Cristina Fernandez has been ratcheting up pressure on Britain to engage in new talks over what her countrymen call the Malvinas.

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