Argentina’s military says it has arrested a key commander in the country’s bid to wrest control of the Falkland Islands from Argentina
Posted On July 28, 2021
Argentina’s top military commander has announced that he has been arrested and is in custody in Argentina’s south, where he is suspected of ordering the killing of at least three suspected militants in Argentina.
General Juan Antonio Fernandez announced on his Facebook page that he was arrested at dawn Monday, and that he had been taken to the southern town of Quetzaltenango.
He did not say when he would be freed.
He said that he could not confirm the identities of those arrested.
He added that he would appeal to the international community to help his family in Argentina recover the bodies of the three suspected attackers.
The three suspects were arrested on May 11 after a raid by the Argentine military in the town of Guaída.
According to Fernandez, he had ordered the assassination of the militants who were traveling in a stolen car that was discovered near the border with Chile.
Fernandez said he had received a message from a member of his own government to help with the investigation.
Argentina’s president, Mauricio Macri, and the countrys foreign minister, Guillermo Pérez, said that they were “deeply shocked” by the allegations.
The countrys National Security and Foreign Affairs Council, which oversees the military, issued a statement saying that Fernandez had been arrested for allegedly “tampering” with evidence.
The statement said the president “is convinced that the killing took place in accordance with law and that the Argentine armed forces are responsible.”
Fernandez is believed to have served as the commander of the Argentine Air Force during the Falklands war, which ended in 1975 with a peace agreement between Argentina and Argentina’s archrival, Argentina.
Fernandez, who is from Buenos Aires, said he was being held in Quetzala prison.
He also denied that he ordered the killing.
In February, Fernandez was accused of ordering a killing of an Argentine army commander in his home country of Bolivia.
In January, the Argentine government accused Fernandez of orchestrating a military coup in the south in 2014, and in July of that year he was accused by human rights groups of directing the military to assassinate an Argentine political opponent.
In September, Argentina’s National Assembly adopted a motion condemning Fernandez and ordering him to stand trial in the case.
The government is also investigating claims that Fernandez is connected to the assassination attempts against political rivals, including former president Mauricio Fernandez Ruz.
Fernandez is being investigated for allegedly having ties to the military coup against Argentine President Mauricio Federico Macri in 2014.