Argentina: human rights crusader’s grandson found

published 7 August 2014 updated 8 August 2014

The grandson of Estela de Carlotto, founder and head of Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo (Grandmothers of May Square), Argentina, and recipient of the 2004 Human and Trade Union Rights Award of Education International, has been found.

Guido Carlotto, now 36, is the son of de Carloto’s daughter Laura, who was kidnapped by the military, along with her partner, when she was two and a half months pregnant, at age 23. His grandmother Estela had been looking for him for the past 35 years.

Guido was born in the Military Hospital of Buenos Aires on 26th June 1978 and, according to witnesses’ accounts, only spent five hours with his mother before she was taken away to a clandestine detention centre in La Plata. Two months later she was murdered and her body given back to the family.

“This is for all those who still say ‘stop’, who doubt our cause, who pretend that we should forget as if nothing had happened. Much is left to do – other grandmothers should be allowed to feel what I do today,” declared Estela in a press conference. Estela was awarded the Mary Hatwood Futrell Human and Trade Union Rights Award in 2004 by Education International, in recognition of her exemplary action to defend human rights in Argentina, leading the cause of the Abuelas de la Plaza de Mayo and demanding justice for the disappeared children during the Videla dictatorship.

According to the Abuelas, Guido Carlotto is the 114th recovered grandchild. An estimated 500 babies were taken from their parents while they were held in clandestine detention centres during the 1976-83 military dictatorship. Some, including Guido Carlotto, were born in captivity, while others were infants when their parents were kidnapped.

The Abuelas have gained plaudits worldwide for their efforts to recover the identity of the missing grandchildren, including five nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize.