Thursday, 17 December 2009

Argentina: Will I be number 100?

This is today's cartoon from Pagina/12. It features a series of people wondering "Will I be number 100?" and at the bottom the word "grandchildren". It's referring to the 30 year struggle of the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo to find their disappeared grandchildren. Until now, they have solved 99 cases, and a new one is generally uncovered every few months. So we are tantalisingly close to the symbolic 100th grandchild. Of course, this person won't be any more or less important than all the others, but there will undoubtedly be particular attention focused on the hundredth case.

The Grandmothers carry out their own investigations and also rely on tip-offs to trace the offspring of those pregnant women abducted by the regime (and the fewer children who were themselves kidnapped when very young). In addition, since the disappeared children came of age (most of them were born in captivity in the last 1970s), the Grandmothers have been asking young Argentine adults directly if they have doubts about where they come from. Do the tales of their birth not add up, or are documents missing? Were they adopted at the height of the violence, in 1976-78, and is there something not quite right about their adoptive parents' story of their origins? Is it just a feeling? Found grandchild No. 98, Martin Amarilla-Molfino, approached the Grandmothers himself with his suspicions. Others in the same situation can consult the Grandmothers with any queries. The 100th grandchild is definitely out there.

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