Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo leader Estela de Carotto pictured with Adriana Moyano (left) and Elsa Poblete, aunts of the 127th grandchild. (Télam / Victoria Egurza)

The Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo are celebrating the identification of the 127th child of victims of forced disappearances during the last dictatorship.

The news comes not long after the identification of 126th child and the granting of house arrest to convicted human rights offender Miguel Etchecolatz, former Director of Investigation of the Buenos Aires Police Force and active participant in the mentioned disappearances.

The young woman who has been identified is the daughter of María del Carmen Moyano and Carlos Poblete, and was born in June 1977 at the Escuela Mecánica de la Armada (ESMA), a renowned detention center. Moyano was originally from Mendoza and she met Poblete in his home province of San Juan. Both were active in Montoneros and were kidnapped in April or May 1977.

Moyano was eight months pregnant at the time. Survivors have placed them at the La Perla detention center in Córdoba, but later Moyano was taken to the ESMA where she gave birth to a girl. According to the Grandmothers, Jorge Luis Magnacco assisted in the birth. Magnacco, a doctor convicted for human rights violations, was recently released from prison after having been judged to have served two-thirds of his various prison sentences.

Both Moyano and Poblete remain disappeared.

While the Grandmothers have not released personal details about the 127th grandchild, they did note that she had been registered as the birth daughter of a family linked to state terrorism. The process of identification commenced after the Hermanos section of the HIJOS (Sons and Daughters for Identity and Justice against Silence and Oblivion) association in Mendoza filed a brief in 2012 with the names of people who could be the children of victims of forced disappearances. The 127th grandchild was in the list of people, and genetic samples were taken in October of this year after a court order was issued.

 

 

 

“We’re going to give her all the time in the world to process her situation. We’ve been waiting for her for 40 years with open arms and with the love we’ve built for 40 years. We love her. We love her intensely because I know that the news of the pregnancy was a great joy. Now she’s a part of María del Carmen and part of my brother Carlos Poblete. Welcome. And let’s continue with memory, truth, and justice. Now, and forever, ” said Elsa Poblete at today’s press conference.

Adriana Moyano, María del Carmen’s older sister, thanks the Grandmothers for their work and “for making possible” that her niece be identified.

Etchecolatz granted house arrest

The news of the 127th grandchild contrasted with the confirmation that convicted human rights offender Miguel Etchecolatz has been granted house arrest. Télam has reported that his transfer to his home in Mar del Plata is imminent.

Miguel Etchecolatz has been granted hourse arrest. Photo via Notife
Miguel Etchecolatz has been granted house arrest. (Photo via Notife)

 

Etchecolatz, 88, has been convicted of a series of crimes against humanity and is serving life sentences but has been on a campaign to attain house arrest since last year. Etchecolatz was the head of investigations for the Buenos Aires Province police force during the military dictatorship and led 21 underground camps where “insurgents” were tortured and murdered by the military state. Having won a series of rulings in his favor, the final approval was given yesterday on medical grounds. The court ruled that there was a “progressive decline in the health and general clinical state” of the convict.

The decision to grant hours arrest was immediately rejected by human rights organizations. Myriam Bregman, a PTS City legislator and lawyer for Jorge Julio López (a victim of the dictatorship who disappeared in 2006 after testifying against Etchecolatz in a human rights trial) was unequivocal in her criticism, pointing to the fact that his victims remain disappeared while he enjoys house arrest.

 

 

HIJOS, an association that brings together the children of victims of the dictatorship,  tweeted yesterday that “Etchecolatz perpetrated genocide. It doesn’t matter how much time goes by. He still hasn’t said what they did to Julio López. With a genocide perpetrator in the neighborhood, we’re all in danger. The only place for someone who commits genocide is an effective life sentence in a common prison.”

Etchecolatz was set to be transferred today from Ezeiza to Mar del Plata by road, where neighbors and the local Municipal Council have already expressed their rejection of his presence. As conditions of his house arrest, he must wear an electronic monitoring device and cannot have weapons in his house.