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ARGENTINA
Grandson No. 114 recovered
Latinamerica Press
8/18/2014
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Guido Montoya Carlotto was identified as the grandson of the president of the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo.

Hortensia Ordura, 91, and Estela Barnes de Carlotto, 83, never lost hope of finding their grandson who was separated from his mother Laura Carlotto after giving birth in a military hospital in 1978. Laura and her partner Oscar Montoya Ordura were arrested and disappeared during the military dictatorship that ruled Argentina between 1976 and 1983.

Guido Carlotto Montoya was born on June 26, 1978 in the clandestine detention center known as La Cacha in the city of La Plata. Laura, his mother, only spent five hours with him. Barnes de Carlotto did not know her daughter was pregnant and found out she had a grandson through a La Cacha survivor. From that point on, she began an almost four-decades-long search.

Barnes de Carlotto is the iconic president of the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo Association, dedicated to reuniting with their legitimate families sons and daughters of disappeared detainees who gave birth in detention centers. The organization estimates that around 500 babies were separated from their mothers.

"The children stolen as ´spoils of war´ were registered as children of members of the forces of repression, then were left anywhere, sold or abandoned to institutes as beings without name, NN. That way, they made them disappear by canceling their identity, depriving them of living with their legitimate family, [depriving] them of all their rights and freedoms”, say the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo.
 
Doubts about his identity
Montoya Carlotto, who used to be named Ignatius Hurban, is a musician who until recently thought he had been born in Olavarria, a town 300 km  (186 miles) southwest of Buenos Aires, and that he was the son of Juana and Hurban Clemente.

In June, he contacted the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo to learn about his origins because he had doubts about his identity. He had even participated in editions of "Music for Identity", an event that aims to raise awareness about the search for grandchildren usurped during the dictatorship. In light of clues that pointed to the possibility of being the son of detained-disappeared, Carlotto visited the National Commission for the Right to Identity (CONADI) and took DNA tests that confirmed with 99 percent certainty his relationship with Barnes de Carlotto.

"What I [didn’t] want was to die without hugging him first," Barnes de Carlotto told the press.

The Final Point and Due Obedience Laws — approved in 1986 and 1987, respectively, by former President Raúl Alfonsín (1983-1989) — prevented the trial of former repressors. The first law ended prosecutions of military personnel for violations of human rights and the second prevented the investigation of officers and enlisted personnel arguing that they obeyed orders from their superiors. These laws, however, did not include the crimes of abduction of minors and identity replacement. Nor did they include Operation Condor, the coordinated repression by the South American military dictatorships in the 1970s and 1980s, or theft of property from political opponents.
In 1997, the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo opened a criminal case stating that the theft of babies was part of a systematic plan originating from the highest levels of the State during the dictatorship. The nullification of the Final Point and Due Obedience Laws in 2005 allowed for the prosecution of the oppressors.

In July 2012, the former heads and senior members of the military government were convicted of child abduction:  Jorge Rafael Videla (50 years in prison), Reynaldo Benito Bignone (30 years), Jorge Eduardo Acosta (40 years), and Oscar Franco (40 years), among others. The court concluded that there was an organized and systematic abduction of babies of pregnant detainees.

Montoya Carlotto became the recovered grandson Nº 114, but there are still some 400 left to find. The Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo have in recent years stepped up their campaigns, which are aimed at young people who have doubts about their identity. Today, the popularity of this case has made many young people throughout the country approach the organization to inquire and even take DNA tests
.—Latinamerica Press


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