An Argentinian woman taken from her mother as a newborn forty years ago during Argentina’s military junta (1976-1983) was reunited (The Times) with her relatives with the help of a local campaign group.
Adriana, 40, who asked not to have her surname identified, was reunited with her family by Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo. She was identified after taking a DNA test which matched those of relatives of her parents.
Adriana is the 126th child found by the Grandmothers, an organization formed to campaign for victims of the last civic-military dictatorship of Argentina. Almost 9,000 people were documented to have been forcibly disappeared by the government during a period of CIA-backed military rule between 1976 and 1983, according to the fact-finding National Commission on the Disappearance of Persons, which nevertheless noted that the real toll is bound to be higher. In many cases, those who were kidnapped were left-wing critics of the regime.
Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo is devoted to finding survivors of the era. Those who are discovered and recover their real identities are called “granddaughters”.
“I began to think I had been abandoned, given away, sold, that they hadn’t wanted me,” said Adriana about her biological parents, Uruguayan social activist Violeta Ortolani and her Argentinian partner, Edgardo Garnier.
Adriana’s parents were both student activists during the Argentine military dictatorship of Jorge Rafael Videla. Violeta was seven months pregnant when she was kidnapped by the government in December 1976. Edgardo disappeared in February 1977. Neither Ortolani nor Garnier, who were 23 and 21 years old at the time of their detention, were ever seen again.
Adriana has been reunited with Garnier’s mother, who has been a key figure in the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo.