Argentina’s Disappeared

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The symbol of the Madres de Plaza de Mayo, painted on the bricks outside Casa Rosada. Picture taken by a user of the b612 blog (Wikimedia Commons)

Sometimes there is a news story that breaks my heart but also brings tears of joy and this week I discovered a new one. In Luna Tango there is a thread in the story that delves into the Desaparacidos – the Disappeared. Since the Dirty War in the 1970’s and early 1980’s, a group of women have marched every Thursday in front of the Casa Rosada, the Presidential Palace, in Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires as a form of protest against what happened in that period. Thousands of people who protested against the government’s actions during the Dirty War disappeared or were murdered, including babies and children associated with those adults. Most were never found.

When the Madres de Plaza de Mayo (Mothers of Plaza de Mayo) march in protest, they wear a white scarf embroidered with the names of their loved ones who have disappeared. On my very first trip to Argentina, way back in 1995, I witnessed this silent march and it brought me to tears, especially when I looked in to the large, sad eyes of these women who are burdened with the heaviness of never knowing what happened to people they loved with all their heart.

So it brought great joy this morning when a friend forwarded an article to me that one of these mothers has finally reunited with her grandson who was stolen as a baby. Thank goodness for science, because a DNA test is what brought them together. I can only imagine the feelings that overcame them when they embraced for the first time. It must have been a beautiful moment, one that neither probably expected until a short while ago.

If you’d like to read more about this grandma and her grandson, you can click here.

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