“When I turned 80, I begged God not to let me die before I found my grandson.”

Argentina's missing grandchildren

#Life

Thu, Jun 11th, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

During the Dirty War, when right-wing military death squads made left-wing activists "disappear," expectant mothers were left to live long enough to deliver their babies before they were killed. Those children were then given to childless families to raise as their own. When the deadly regime collapsed, the organisation Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo has been trying to reunite these children with their real families. This is the story of Estela Carlotto, who found her grandson 36 years after he was born.

Ignacio was born in June 1978 while his mother Laura was still in captivity. One report states she gave birth handcuffed and was allowed only five hours with her baby. Two months later, she was dragged out of the camp and a mock armed confrontation was staged by the military. When her body was turned over to Estela, she had been shot through the stomach and her face was smashed, apparently by a rifle butt. Survivors of the camp told Estela about the birth, and that she had named the newborn Guido, after her father.

For 36 years afterwards, Estela devoted herself to finding her grandson. All she had was a name, Guido, and an approximate birth date. An excruciatingly difficult search led her through three decades of legal action against police officers, military officers and doctors involved in the “missing grandchildren” cases. Leads were hard to come by. Her grandson had been swallowed by the complicity and silence that surrounded so many of the regime’s horrendous crimes.

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