Sunday, 9 August 2009

Argentina: Ernestina Herrera de Noble

**UPDATE** This is a developing story. Please go to the front page of the blog and/or use the search function to find more recent posts on this subject.

Ernestina Herrera de Noble is the owner of Clarin, Argentina's largest newspaper. She is of interest to this blog, however, because of a long-standing legal case based on doubts as to the parentage of her two adopted children.

According to Noble, in May 1976 (i.e. at the height of political violence in Argentina) she found a baby girl in a cardboard box on her doorstep. The foundling was to become her adopted daughter Marcela. There were no witnesses to Noble's discovery of the youngster. A few months later, she adopted another child, Felipe. The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo also claim that there are irregularities in the second adoption process, including the fact that the woman claiming to be Felipe's mother was using a false identity.

The Grandmothers, therefore, suspected that the two children are the offspring of forcibly disappeared persons and started legal proceedings in an attempt to establish the truth. In 2002, Noble was briefly arrested in connection with the case. She eventually won a case in which the Grandmothers had attempted to force the children to submit to DNA testing, but legal wrangling continued. Eventually there was a ruling that each of the children's blood should be compared with one potential birth family.

Now, however, a judge has ruled in the Grandmothers' favour, ordering that Marcela and Felipe's DNA should be compared to that of 22 families to whom they may be related. Surprisingly enough, you probably won't read much about the case in Clarin.

Apropriaciones: reves para Ernestina (Critica Digital)

More background from the Abuelas (PDF)

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