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In Argentina, COVID jabs launch hunt for ‘stolen grandchildren’ | Children’s Rights Issues


Buenos Aires, Argentina – As a child growing up in La Plata in the 1980’s, Leonardo Fossati looked in the mirror and thought that this was the other side.

It was a game that a little kid played. He feels like he’s living in a movie and that there’s something about his life that he can’t see. A few years later, he understood the game in more detail: it became apparent among others that there was more to his story.

On the contrary, the story was completely different. The people who raised her were not her biological parents and a DNA test in 2005 confirmed she was one Missed grandchildren in Argentina: Babies born into slavery during the brutal war that ravaged the country from 1976 to 1983 and given to other families to raise.

His parents, Ines Beatriz Ortega and Rubén Leonardo Fossati, are among the nearly 30,000 missing and unaccompanied minors at the time and their remains have not been found.

“No matter what, the truth lays a solid foundation for you to move on with your life,” he said.

That Fossati and others like her know the truth is because of Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo, (the grandmother of the Plaza de Mayo), an organization of women who disobeyed Argentina during the genocide and made weekly visits to find out what happened to their children and grandchildren. those who are missing.

So far, the condition of 130 people has been recovered through DNA testing. But the hunt goes on for about 300 more – and a new campaign is under way Use the COVID-19 vaccine to assist in this work.

‘Help us to find you’

At the age of 40 – the same group of grandchildren – are being vaccinated in Argentina, Abuelas is urging people to Put pictures of their jabs on the screen and the hashtag #UnaDosisDeIdentidad (One Dose of Identity).

The documentation is accompanied by words that encourage anyone born between 1975 and 1980 and who are unsure of who to reach for, an organization that has new search methods.

“We saw it as an opportunity because in a short time, the grandchildren we are looking at will listen because they are getting vaccinated,” said Belen Altamiranda Taranto, an 88-year-old granddaughter, who now works with Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo in Cordoba.

This year, the government has re-launched a campaign against Argentines living abroad under the banner “Argentina Te Busca” – Argentina Wants You. A number of people have found their names moving to other parts of the world as elderly people in Holland, the United States, and Spain. Others were found young in Chile and Uruguay.

“Help us find you,” Felipe Sola, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, told a text message urging people to contact the Argentine ambassador with questions.

Members of the civil rights movement Madres the Plaza de Mayo march in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2018 [File: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters]

Cruelty of dictators

That many grandchildren are not known to be talking about the silent bond that remained between the perpetrators.

In an effort to combat the remaining terrorists, the security forces launched a massive terrorist campaign that eliminated political opponents, students, human rights activists, civil rights activists, journalists and many others.

People were abducted on the streets, tortured, killed, shot down in a river or buried in an unknown grave during a brutal ordeal. Young mothers who became pregnant during their miscarriage gave birth in a secluded place and their children were placed in foster homes, or by others who did not inquire about the whereabouts of the children.

This was not just an isolated incident, but a child-rehabilitation program, a court in Argentina found in 2012. More than 1,000 people have been sentenced for their activities during this dark time.

Destroying generations

Approaches such as the Una Dosis campaign give hope to people like Anna Carriquiriborde, 41, whose aunt Gabriela Carriquiriborde went missing in 1976 in La Plata. Her family is looking after her son, who was born in December in the same year.

Witnesses indicate the baby was a boy, Carriquiriborde said, although a woman believed to be Gabriela’s daughter was awaiting DNA results. Two other people also suspect she was Gabriela’s daughter, but she was presumed not to be.

“Obviously, I’m very anxious to meet my cousin,” says Carriquiriborde, who lives in La Plata but was born and raised in Sweden, which provides protection for her abusive parents who fled. “We always talk about this in the family. It would bring us great pleasure, to the end of the story. “

This discovery was particularly important to his father, he said; Like her missing sister, she was a member of Juventud Universitaria Peronista, a Peronist university branch, and she blames herself for what happened to her.

“I think it’s all very bad, and we held them as slaves to get rid of their children,” Carriquiriborde said. “She gave us our gift, my mother, and our future. The brutal military rule destroyed many generations.”

Women take a selfie next to photos of those who disappeared during the Argentine war dictatorship in 1976-1983, in front of the Casa Rosada Presidential Palace in Buenos Aires in 2017 [Marcos Brindicci/Reuters]

It has taken years to make public awareness What happened, and if there is one thing that contradicts the hunt, is time.

“There are very few grandparents left,” Taranto said. “They are too old and sad to see them run away, unable to find their grandchildren or the bodies of their children.”

‘The idea of ​​freedom’

Taranto and Fossati, both 44, described the opportunity to be inspired after finding out who they really were.

Taranto met the two grandparents before he died. “It’s not a small thing, but you’re free – I’m free to do what I want to do with my story,” said Taranto, whose missing parents Cristian Adrian and Natalia Vanesa are members of the Workers’ Revolutionary Party.

In the case of Fossati, his mother was a member of Unión Estudiantil Secundaria (School for Students) and his father a member of Juventud Universitaria Peronista.

The two foster carers were not allied with the military. One day in 1977 she received a phone call from a local midwife, who had a child who said she wanted a house. Fossati realized that he was not their biological son and sought answers as soon as he became a father.

“That didn’t happen to me but to being taken away,” he said.

He is now taking a place of remembrance in La Plata from the old prison where his parents were imprisoned. That’s when he was born.

“I’ve come to realize that you don’t just have skin color, eye color or genetic make-up,” said Fossati, who almost gave her son Leonardo a name, which he did years after realizing it was his name. the mother gave him a name. “Some items are offered in the middle term.”

Doubt, he said, is a carrier – so he encouraged anyone who could keep them to respond. “Time passes quickly, it’s important to deal with your fears,” he said. And you have the right to know who you are. ”

Anyone who doubts who they are can contact Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo through them web page.


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