Latin America & Caribbean

Argentina Plaza de Mayo group locates founder's grandson

Delia Giovanola de Califano (C) at a press conference in Buenos Aires (5 n November 2015) Image copyright AFP
Image caption Delia Giovanola de Califano (centre) is one of the 12 grandmothers who formed the group in 1977

Argentine campaign group Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo say they have identified the grandson of one of the group's co-founders.

Argentina's military junta snatched hundreds of babies from their opponents in the 1970s and gave them to sympathisers to bring up as their own.

The grandson of co-founder Delia Giovanola is named Martin.

But the discovery comes too late for his sister, Virginia, who took her own life in 2011.

The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo was formed to reunite families with their missing children, who had been stolen by the junta.

Martin is the 118th grandchild to be located by the group.

His parents, Jorge Oscar Ogando and Stella Maris Montesano, joined the ranks of Argentina's "disappeared". Their bodies have never been found.

The man, born in 1976, has lived abroad for 15 years. He and Mrs Giovanola have spoken on the telephone.

Mrs Giovanola was left to bring up her elder grandchild Virginia Ogando, who was three when her parents were kidnapped.

Ms Ogando had always sought her missing brother. She took her own life in 2011, saying she hoped to join her parents.

"I'm happy, thinking that my granddaughter's hand is behind all this," Mrs Giovanola told a press conference in Buenos Aires.

Some 30,000 people were murdered by the military junta in Argentina.

The leader of the campaign group, Estela de Carlotto, was herself reunited with her missing grandson last year.


Argentina's dictatorship

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Gen Videla (right) seized power in 1976

1976: General Jorge Videla seizes power - thousands of political opponents rounded up and killed

1982: Videla's successor, General Leopoldo Galtieri, orders invasion of British-held Falkland Islands

1983: Civilian rule returns to Argentina, investigations into rights abuses begin

2010: Videla sentenced to life imprisonment for murders during his term in office

2012: Videla sentenced to 50 years for overseeing systematic theft of the babies of political prisoners

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