The power of grandmothers finding their families again

By: |
June 15, 2021 4:26 PM

Thanks to the tireless work of the Mothers and the Argentine Government since the restoration of democracy in 1983, 130 cases of girls and boys have already been solved and their identity restored.

Argentine government, Diego Martin Orgando, civil military dictatorship in Argentina, massive human rights violations, grandmothers finding familiesRecovered granddaughter: Claudia Victoria Poblete Hlaczik with her Grandmother Buscarita (Left) & Recovered grandson: Ignacio Montoya Carlotto with his Grandmother Estela (Right) (Image Credits: Hernan Churba)

Diego Martin Orgando, a resident of the US always knew his adoptive family was not his biological family. In 2015, he was finally reunited with his family in Argentina, all thanks to a group of Grandmothers.

For Marcela Solsona, a resident of Spain it took two more years to know the names of her parents, Norma Sintora and Carlos Solsona and finally see them. Her mother was eight months pregnant when she was kidnapped.

“I am the 129th granddaughter,” she says.

Who are these grandchildren, who are these grandmothers?

The story goes back to 1976, the last civil-military dictatorship in Argentina which lasted till 1983. It was a time when massive human rights violations were committed against the civilian population. This included the abduction of pregnant women and about 500 babies-both girls and boys.

“These children separated from their families, resultantly grew up with a false identity. The victims’ families began looking for them and the search hasn’t stopped. In April 1977, the human rights association named Mothers of Plaza de Mayo began to assemble at Plaza de Mayo square, opposite the Argentine Government House, in the city of Buenos Aires, demanding to find out the fate of their daughters and sons,” according to officials in the Embassy of Argentina in New Delhi as well as Consulate General in Mumbai.

Thanks to the tireless work of the Mothers and the Argentine Government since the restoration of democracy in 1983, 130 cases of girls and boys have already been solved and their identity restored.

But the Argentine Government, the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo and relatives are still looking for more than 350 granddaughters and grandsons who live with false identities.

In March 2021, with the support of CoNaDi and the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo, the Government of Argentina assumed this search as its own by launching this ‘Right to Identity’ International Campaign.

Today, the Missions and Consulates of Argentina around the world are trying to get the maximum visibility for the campaign by using all possible ways of spreading the word.

Social media is being used actively. In fact a beautiful campaign on twitter reads,

“You could be one of the grandchildren we have yet to find. If you are an Argentine, living abroad and you have doubts about your identity, contact your nearest Embassy or consulate. Help us find you.”

#Argentinabusca #HelpUsFindYou

What if they don’t want to connect?

“The search for identity is done on a completely voluntary basis. People with doubts about their identity approach the Mothers Association or the Consulates to request information and advice to determine if they were abducted or not. Those who through the AND test are proven sons or daughters of missing people mostly get in contact with their original family and even change their family name,” according to the Consulate General of Argentina in Mumbai.

Why the campaign?

Today the granddaughters and grandsons of the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo are between 40 and 45 years old. They are adults who may have migrated for multiple reasons so that they could live anywhere in the world. Many of them could be mothers or fathers and, a number of them, even grandparents.

“The campaign is part of the Argentine commitment to human rights. Argentina is among the countries with the highest human rights standards in the world and is very active in human rights affairs internationally,” explained officials in the Embassy of Argentina in New Delhi as well as Consulate General in Mumbai.

And the stories are heartwarming, showing hope and love. Like Marcela Solsona puts it, “The truth is the only thing that can set us and those around us free and give us the opportunity to bring so much into our lives and the lives of relatives who have been looking for us for so long and need to find us. They never chose to lose us.”

Here is hoping many more like Marcela and Diego meet their families.

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