36 Years Later, Activist Finds Grandson Stolen in Dirty War

Mother was killed after she gave birth in custody

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 6, 2014 3:59 AM CDT | Updated Aug 6, 2014 7:03 AM CDT

(Newser) – A group devoted to tracking the children taken from parents murdered in Argentina's "Dirty War" and placed with families who supported the military regime has found its 114th "stolen child"—the grandson of the group's founder. The 36-year-old man, a pianist and composer, was found after he had doubts about his identity and volunteered his DNA at a bank set up by the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo, the Guardian reports. "I didn't want to die without hugging him, and now I will be able to hug him soon," said his grandmother, 83-year-old Estela de Carlotto.

Carlotto's daughter, Laura, was one of an estimated 30,000 leftists murdered by the country's military junta between 1976 and 1983, reports the BBC. She was two months pregnant when she was seized by the military, and was killed after giving birth in a military hospital. Around 500 babies are believed to have been taken from other arrested activists. "We need to keep searching for other children so that other grandmothers can feel what I feel today," says Carlotto. She says that when she spoke to her grandson on the phone, "he was very emotional, but he said he was very happy and very well." She adds, "Now I have 14 grandchildren with me. The empty chair is now filled, the photograph frames will carry a photo." (Earlier this year, two long-lost siblings found each other—and realized they'd known each other for years.)

Estela de Carlotto, president of Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo, right, reacts before a news conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina, yesterday.
Estela de Carlotto, president of Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo, right, reacts before a news conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina, yesterday.   (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)
Estela de Carlotto, president of Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo, smiles during a news conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina, yesterday.
Estela de Carlotto, president of Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo, smiles during a news conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina, yesterday.   (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)
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