Miguel Ángel Brítez, a war veteran who his family gave up for dead in 1982, has been found living on the streets of Uruguay, suffering from psychological problems.
Brítez, 49, who served as a marine and saw combat in Port Stanley during the Malvinas/Falklands conflict, returned to his native Corrientes after the war, but his stay was short lived. He left two weeks later to seek work in Tucumán and his family has never heard from him since.
The veteran’s identity came to light when he was hospitalized, having suffered severe injuries following a fight with another homeless man in the city of Tacuarembó, 380 northwest of Montevideo, according to Jose Galván, the president of Corrientes Centre of Veterans.
Informed of the incident, the Vice Consul of Argentina in Paysandu contacted the Corrientes director of the Malvinas Argentinas, who confirmed the identity of the veteran.
The Argentine consulate has issued a statement confirming that Brítez has suffered a cranial fracture during the street fight which has paralysed his lower body from the waist down. But Galvan added that Brítez is “lucid and asked to return Corrientes.” He is due to be transferred to the capital of Corrientes next Monday.
“Miguel Anfel is from Ita Ibaté and his six brothers are going to wait on Monday at the airport of Corrientes,” Galván said, “in a moment that will be emotional and historical.”
Brítez’s family is “very shocked by this news since the veteran’s mother died 14 years ago, thinking her son was dead.”
After being reunited with his family, Brítez will be transferred to Corrientes Hospital to be treated for his injuries.
In June 2011, a similar case was reported in Concordia, Entre Ríos. The veteran Francisco Fherenbacherse, who served as an engineer on the destroyer ARA Comodoro Py during the war, was accidentally found by other former soldiers in La Criolla.