i forgot this had happened. i forgot what a horror story this was (and is). i forgot how many were tortured and killed. i forgot how many babies were stolen (we will never know the real numbers here), ripped from the wombs of innocent women. can you imagine being one of these children. finding out the people you thought were your parents were indeed imposters. imposters who were responsible for your REAL parents murders?
Children stolen during Argentina's dirty war begin to resurface
By Jack Chang
Knight Ridder Newspapers
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina - For most of her life, Claudia Victoria Poblete lived a lie that began when she was 8 months old, during the darkest years of Argentina's brutal military dictatorship.
Poblete, now 28, was Mercedes Beatriz Landa then and was raised as an only child in a military family. It wasn't until 2000 that she learned the truth: Her father and mother, Jose Liborio Poblete and Marta Gertrudis Hlaczik, had been kidnapped by soldiers on Nov. 28, 1978, tortured and killed. The man she'd known as her father, Army Lt. Col. Ceferino Landa, had been a colleague of her parents' killers.
"When I first learned this, I couldn't believe it was true," said Poblete, who's now married and works as a computer systems analyst in Buenos Aires. "But when I saw the pictures of my parents and my relatives, it was like a shock of truth. And it brought me tranquility."
The man who raised Poblete was charged with the "retention, concealment and suppression" of her identity and sentenced to nine years of house arrest. After years of court battles, Argentina's Supreme Court used the case last year to declare unconstitutional two amnesty laws passed in the 1980s that had set a 60-day deadline for bringing human rights charges against military and police officials and had protected lower-ranking members of the military from prosecution.
That opened the floodgates. Since then, 1,400 people, civilians and military personnel have been charged with a range of offenses related to the kidnapping and murder of dissidents.
Poblete is one of an estimated 500 children whose parents vanished during Argentina's so-called dirty war, which began with the overthrow of President Maria Estela Martinez de Peron on March 24, 1976, and ended with the fall of the military government after the country's defeat in the Falklands war in 1983.
During those years, the government had as many as 30,000 dissidents, intellectuals and innocent bystanders kidnapped and killed while it battled armed guerrillas in what it called the Process of National Reorganization.
The terror campaign included abducting hundreds of babies along with their mothers or kidnapping babies born to female prisoners in the hundreds of concentration camps that dotted the country.
Witnesses said many of the mothers gave birth gagged, blindfolded and bound. Doctors often induced labor and performed unnecessary Caesarian surgeries. Almost all of the women were later executed, their bodies never found.............