Argentina rights activist finds stolen grandson after 35 years

Estela Carlotto (centre), the president of Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo (Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo), an association that seeks to reunite babies stolen during the military regime (1976-1983) with their biological parents or relatives, celebrates find
Estela Carlotto (centre), the president of Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo (Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo), an association that seeks to reunite babies stolen during the military regime (1976-1983) with their biological parents or relatives, celebrates finding her grandson Guido after a 35-year-search during a press conference in Buenos Aires on August 5, 2014. A relative of Carlotto said the identity of her grandson was confirmed through genetic testing. -- PHOTO: AFP

BUENOS AIRES (AFP) - The 83-year-old head of the Argentinian movement which works to track down babies stolen by the country’s brutal 1976-83 military dictatorship has found her grandson after a 35-year search, a relative said on Tuesday.

Estela Carlotto, who leads the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo group, was able on Tuesday to meet her kidnapped grandson, said a relative, who said the identity was confirmed through genetic testing.

“The result of the test was positive. We have found my nephew after 35 years,” said Kivo Carlotto, son of Estela, whose sister Laura disappeared during the dictatorship while pregnant.

While the family was overjoyed to find their missing relative, it was also “a terrible feeling,” said Kivo Carlotto, who said the test results confirming who his mother was, was also “a terrible shock” for his nephew.

A friend of Laura Carlotto who was detained with her by the regime told her family that she was killed a short time after giving birth to a son, whom she had planned to name Guido.

The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo and a sister group, Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, have been leading a nationwide effort to reunite an estimated 500 children who were taken from leftists and government opponents during the dictatorship.

As many as 30,000 people “disappeared” are presumed to have been murdered during Argentina’s “dirty war” against leftists.

In many instances, their children were taken by ruling families and raised as their own.

The Grandmothers group, which was founded in 1977, said it has managed through the years to locate scores of missing children, who now are adults.