Adapted from Anglican Communion News Service
After searching for more than 35 years, the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo in Argentina have finally found the grandson of one of their founders, Estela de Carlotto.
The recent discovery ends a long and painful journey for Carlotto, who lost her pregnant daughter, Laura Carlotto, during the days of the brutal military dictatorship of 1976-83 in Argentina, when she was abducted and imprisoned.
Henchmen of the dictatorship allowed Carlotto’s daughter to give birth to her child, a son. Then they took the infant and placed him with a childless family of their choosing, just before killing Carlotto’s daughter shortly after the birth. They often selected military families for such placements.
Since its formation, Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo has been focused on the search for children who were born in the clandestine detention centers of Argentina’s military dictatorship.
From the time of the dictatorship until today, ecumenical organizations in the region, including the World Council of Churches (WCC) and member churches in Latin America, have accompanied the work of the group.
For Carlotto, who is considered as a human-rights champion, the search ended on July 5 when a 35-year-old man named Guido, a musician in the city of Olavarria, volunteered to undergo a DNA test. The test established that he is Carlotto’s grandson.
Guido took the test because of doubts about his identity and his family history.
While there are other stories of grandchildren being found, this story was particularly poignant as it now touched the life of a woman leader known for seeking justice for other women who suffered a similar fate.
The story is also important because it keeps alive the need in Argentina for unveiling the truth of the dark days of dictatorship.
With reports from the Rev. Eugenio Albrecht, Evangelical Church of the River Plate, and the Agencia Latinoamericana y Caribeña de Comunicación-ALC; Charles Harper, former WCC staff; and Marcelo Schneider, WCC staff in Latin America.
Image: Estela de Carlotto, courtesy Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo