Saturday, 5 March 2011

Argentina: Grandchild 101 speaks out

I think one of the reasons that Videla and Bignone's new trial caught international headlines this week is that the idea of "baby stealing" has a horrfiying fascination for outsiders. I mean, stealing someone's baby - isn't that just about as low as you can get? (Yes, it is.) And how did it work exactly?

So it's not surprising that some media sources choose to dig deeper and give their readers an idea of the human interest story that lies behind the statistics.

Just over a year ago, I posted on the finding of "disappeared grandchildren no. 101", Francisco Madariaga, and his connection to the Grandmothers/Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo. Now he is featured in an article on the BBC.
"I spent 32 years living a lie," he says.[...] "For decades my captors [as he describes his adoptive parents] told me I was their biological son. But lies can't last forever," says Mr Madariaga.
Madariaga is clearly one of the children whose discovery of their true origins leads them to break off all contact with their adopted family; this is hardly surprising in his case, as he states that his father was also physically abusive. It's not the case for all the found children, particularly those whose adopted families were not military.
"I think I was like a prize of war," Mr Madariaga says.
Madariaga has not coined this phrase; botín de guerra (spoils of war) is a common term to describe the attitude of the military towards the children of disappeared people, which were appropriated just as the prisoners' belongings were. It's also the title of a 2000 documentary about the disappeared children, directed by David Blaustein.

Anyway, this is an interesting article, and it also mentions the Noble (Clarin) case.

Argentina 'stolen baby' cases legacy of Dirty War (BBC)


Alfredo said...

May I suggest a very good film dealing with that terrible period, Cautiva(2005)by first-time filmmaker Gaston Biraben.

Lillie Langtry said...

Thanks for the tip Alfredo!