This month, an 83-year-old woman in Argentina met her grown grandson for the first time in many years. The reunion sparked celebrations across the country and elsewhere. CCTV America’s Joel Richards reports.
It ended a 37-year search to find the child ripped from his mother as a baby and raised by others. It highlights a dark chapter in Argentina’s history when a military dictatorship committed gross abuses to put down the political opposition.
Ignacio Guido grew up as Ignacio, but he has always been Guido to his birth family. Earlier this month, he met his biological grandmother for the first time at age 36. Estela de Carlotto, heads of the advocacy group Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo, devoted all the years searching for her grandson and hundreds more reunions among other families are suffering similar loss.
It goes back to the military dictatorship that began in 1976. Over the next seven years, the ruling junta is estimated to have “disappeared” some 30,000 political opponents. Most were taken to detention centers, tortured and killed. Babies were taken from their parents, and brought up by other families. The Grandmothers organized and have searched for the missing children ever since. They believe there are at least 500 in total. So far, they have located 114.
Across Argentina there were hundreds of clandestine detention centers during the dictatorship. There was one once stood here called the Casa Rosada. It was barely two miles away from the government house. Detention centers like this was where many of the missing grandchildren were taken from.
Science has played its part in reunions, with advances in genetics and DNA testing helping confirm family ties. The Grandmothers also had to reach out. They needed information and needed those young adults who had doubts about their true identity to come forward.
There were celebrations when Ignacio Guido was united with his family, one more wound from the dictatorship healed. But the Grandmothers’ work continues, with some 400 children yet to be found.
Searching for missing children from dark history of ArgentinaThis month, an 83-year-old woman in Argentina met her grown grandson for the first time in many years. The reunion sparked celebrations across the country and elsewhere. CCTV America's Joel Richards reports.
Estela de Carlotto is the head of the advocacy group Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo. In an exclusive interview, CCTV America’s Joel Richards asks her about the hard-fought battle to connect with her grandson and what it may mean for other grandmothers who are still searching for lost loved ones.