The story behind a moving flag in the Argentina - Peru qualifier

Argentina and Peru will be rivals tonight from 8.30pm at the Monumental. “Rivals, not enemies”, sentences a marketing phrase so popular these days in football that it perfectly applies to the case. Because when there was a serious enemy, Peru was on our side.

In the middle of the banner that the Peruvian fans organized this Wednesday at the Buenos Aires Obelisk, one flag was displayed above the others. “For Peru, the Falklands are Argentine”said the rag. The same thing had already happened four years ago, when the red and white team visited Argentina in the Bombonera.

Photo from 2017, prior to the match in La Bombonera between Argentina and Peru. The same message … (Photo: Luciano Thieberger)

The message is not at all isolated: in that warlike conflict, which took place in 1982 and put the sovereignty of the islands at stake, the Inca country collaborated unconditionally with Argentina. “They were the main ally. Nobody played it as much as they did”, he told Ole Hernán Dobry, historian and journalist specialized in the matter.

One month after the beginning of the war, Argentine emissaries traveled to Lima to ask Belaúnde Terry, president of Peru at that time, for planes, submarines, ships, missiles and other types of weapons and elements for combat. The aid arrived immediately, avoiding sending boats since they necessarily had to surround the coast of Chile, a British ally during the conflict, and would have been discovered.

“They sent weapons and planes, brought by Peruvian pilots who They even offered to go to war, although Argentina did not want to. Peruvian technicians also came to train Argentine soldiers to use weapons that exceeded our technology, “said Dobry.

Airplanes painted with the Peruvian insignia so that the secret plot was not discovered.

Airplanes painted with the Peruvian insignia so that the secret plot was not discovered.

Mirage planes painted for Malvinas painted with the insignia of Peru.

Mirage planes painted for Malvinas painted with the insignia of Peru.

In addition to direct aid, Peru did another giant favor to Argentina: it signed blank purchase orders and final destination certificates for our country to buy war equipment from Israel. As Israel did not want to sell directly to Argentina (the political pressure from the United Kingdom would have been instantaneous), a triangulation was made. “It was crazy what Peru did. Nobody does that, put the name of your country for the benefit of another in a war,” said the historian.

“That was not all: the armaments acquired to Israel were brought by planes of the Peruvian Air Force. And several planes that Argentina bought were painted with the Peruvian insignia to prevent the triangulation from being discovered,” closed Dobry, author of the books Operation Israel and The Malvinas Rabbis in which he delves into the subject.

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