Falkland Islanders, Argentines remember Thatcher

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Associated Press

Posted on April 17, 2013 at 2:32 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 17 at 3:07 PM

PORT STANLEY, Falkland Islands (AP) — Falkland Islanders honored Margaret Thatcher with a memorial service Wednesday, while Argentine military veterans burned her picture and a Union Jack flag in Buenos Aires.

The competing visions of Thatcher on the day of her burial in Britain were evident on both sides of the sea that separates South America from the islands that Argentines claim as their "Islas Malvinas."

Islanders consider Thatcher their savior for sending a military task force to end Argentina's occupation of the islands in 1982.

Argentines say Thatcher should have been tried as a war criminal for ordering a British nuclear submarine to sink the ARA General Belgrano, killing 323 sailors. In all, 649 Argentines, 255 British troops and three islanders died before Thatcher's task force recovered the territory from the military junta that ruled Argentina at the time.

"I'm sure she'll be up above looking down on us seeing what's happening," islander Terry Spruce said during the memorial service.

But in Argentina's capital, Tony Lopez said Thatcher should have been jailed.

"We regret the fact that Margaret Thatcher died unpunished; that is to say she did not pay for her crimes," Lopez said. "... She has managed to go to her grave without having being judged and condemned."

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