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Protest Erupts Over British Cargo Ship in Argentina Port

By MarEx 2012-03-09 15:25:00

A British-flagged cargo ship docked at an Argentinian port was impeded by violent Argentine protesters as growing tensions commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Falklands conflict. The ‘Hanna C’ vessel was the target of violent fights that broke out at Comodoro Rivadavia port in the Chubut province.

Coast Guard officials were forced to intervene between demonstrators from the local Patriotic Movement and dockworkers who were attempting to load a cement cargo on to the vessel. Several Argentine veterans who fought in the 74-day battle were among the protesters. 

Activists claimed that the ship violated a law that forbids the docking of British vessels that are involved in the exploration and exploitation of natural resources around the disputed territory. Port authorities, on the other hand, claim that the Hanna C had been involved in no such activities. It was merely contracted to transport a load of cement from a local company to Uruguay and Paraguay. The ship’s docking was a duration of two nights in the port before it left with its cargo, which officials report as being totally legal.

Last month, two cruise ships were turned away from another Argentine port as they had previously stopped off at the Falklands. Argentina’s President has also accused Britain of provoking aggression by sending the Duke of Cambridge to the islands on a six-week tour of duty as a search and rescue pilot for the RAF. She has also accused Britain of militarizing the South Atlantic by sending the destroyer HMS Dauntless to the area and said she will raise the matter with the United Nations.