'May God take pity on her soul': The Argentinian reaction to Margaret Thatcher’s death

 

“La Dama de Hierro” has passed away. Argentina’s media has always embraced the Iron Lady title, a nickname that in its eyes went hand-in-hand with a bellicose and colonialist outlook.

While the news of Margaret Thatcher’s death caused a wave of tributes in the UK, including assertions that she had transformed Britain, the reaction in Buenos Aires was far more muted. President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and the foreign office made no immediate comment.

But the lady forever associated with the 1982 Falklands War continues to provoke strong feelings among Argentineans even in death. The news comes just weeks after the Falklands Islanders’ overwhelming decision to remain a British overseas territory, branded as “illegal” by Buenos Aires.

“Thatcher was someone who only deepened the world’s differences and didn’t try to find a peaceful solution,” said Ernesto Alonso, president of the National Commission for Falklands veterans. He was busy helping with humanitarian aid in La Plata, the city where over 50 people were killed in flash flooding last week, but took time out to speak to The Independent.

“Both the military dictatorship in Argentina and Thatcher shared the same violent outlook,” he added. “They were part of the same political class. She won’t be remembered [here] for being a good person.”

La Nación, the country’s leading conservative newspaper, published an online story shortly after the announcement recalling Thatcher’s “aggressive style and controversial decisions” but didn’t allow anyone to post comments on the page “due to the sensitivity of the subject matter”.

On Twitter, reactions were far stronger. Luis D’Elía, a trade unionist aligned with the government, recalled the sinking of the Belgrano war ship in which 323 Argentinean lives were lost – still a highly sensitive issue in Argentina – adding, “may God take pity on her soul”.

The biggest controversy was the Colombia’s president Juan Manuel Santos, one of the region’s few right-wing leaders, who Tweeted: “We regret the [news of] the death of The Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher. Controversial, brave, a strong character and a friend of Colombia.”

Further reading:

Obituary: Margaret Thatcher, Britain's first and only female prime minister

Margaret Thatcher: Round-up of today's full coverage

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: PMLD Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: PMLD Teacher A specialist primary school i...

Recruitment Genius: Online Media Sales Trainee

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Now our rapidly expanding and A...

Recruitment Genius: Public House Manager / Management Couples

£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about great ...

Recruitment Genius: Production Planner

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links