BUENOS AIRES – Argentina’s Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo human rights association on Wednesday hailed the recovery of “grandchild No. 121,” the son of two leftist militants who went missing during the 1976-1983 dictatorship.
Although the official announcement was made Monday, the association’s president, Estela de Carlotto, and the brother and aunt of the recovered relative, Ramiro Menna and Alba Lanzilotto, gave a press conference on Wednesday.
Menna and Lanzilotto are to meet their family member for the first time in the coming days.
“We love you and I want to see you to see ... a part of Ani,” Lanzilotto said during the press conference.
Grandchild No. 121’s mother, Ana Maria Lanzilotto, was eight months pregnant when the dictatorship’s forces kidnapped her and her husband, Domingo Menna, on July 19, 1976.
The two militants of the then-outlawed Workers’ Revolutionary Party, or PRT, were held at the Campo de Mayo clandestine detention center in Buenos Aires province.
De Carlotto said Alba Lanzilotto, the aunt of the now-40-year-old man and Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo member, conducted a tireless search for her nephew.
The case went to court in 2004 and finally led to a positive identification after the missing family member voluntarily agreed to undergo a DNA test.
“Today is a day with more justice in Argentina. The son knows the truth about his origins” and will soon be able to embrace his long-lost family members, De Carlotto said.
“This gives us strength to keep looking for all those who are missing,” she added.
But grandchild No. 121 is still adapting to his new situation and did not appear at the press conference.
The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo estimates that nearly 500 babies were stolen from their parents during the dictatorship, which killed an estimated 30,000 people and brutalized tens of thousands of others, according to human right organizations.