Argentina's Independence Day parade on Tuesday featured of one of the country's most infamous former military officers, Aldo Rico, prompting some surprising comments from Defence Minister Oscar Aguad.
Aguad on Wednesday downplayed Aldo Rico's presence along Libertador Avenue during 9th of July celebrations in Buenos Aires on Tuesday, describing Rico's leadership of a group of rogue officers in a failed 1987 uprising against then president Raúl Alfonsín as "a minor event" in the country's history.
Rico's group was known as the "Carapintadas", or "painted faces" in reference to the camouflage they used. His presence on Tuesday surprised many among those in attendance and prompted a wave of criticism online, where observers questioned why a man who had attempted to oust a democratically-elected government could participate.
"Despite him being a Veteran of the Malvinas, I don't find it reasonable that someone who acted against the Constitution would participate in an Independence Day parade", said broadcast journalist María O'Donnell.
"The criticisms are of no internet to me", Rico told Perfil, expressing that his "greatest pride" was having led the Carapintadas in 1987.
Asked about his appearance on Tuesday during the parade, Rico said "nobody has to invite me. I'm a veteran of the Malvinas".
"The government doesn't have to invite me", he said, claiming he had received "applause" during the event.
It is not the first time Rico has participated in recent military events.
He also paraded during the 2016 celebrations of Argentina's bicentenary.
"It was incredible. There was a special feeling and the emotions of the people were incredible. Hopefully, Macri can make the most of it", Rico said at the time.
"It was the first time in 16 years that I had been in a parade", he added. During the Kirchner governments, he "could not participate".