Grandmother Finds Grandson Abducted 36 Years Ago in Argentina’s Dirty War

Estela de Carlotto is an amazing woman. As the President of the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo in Argentina, she has been a leader for over 35 years in the quest to reunite biological parents and grandparents with hundreds of children who were born in prisons and torture centers.

These babies were then snatched away by the 1970s military junta, and given to members of the government and their supporters to raise as their own.

So far, the Grandmothers and Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo have been able to find 113 of these abducted children, and reunite them with their biological families.

This week Carlotto’s grandson became the 114th child to discover his true identity.

At a jubilant news conference the 83-year-old activist declared:

We’ve found what we were looking for. Now I have 14 grandchildren with me. The empty chair is now filled, the photograph frames will carry a photo.

My grandson, is handsome, an artist, a good boy, well brought up, and he searched me out.

She went on to say, “I did not want to die without hugging him, without getting to know him,” and declared that finding her grandson was “reparation” for her, for her family and for Argentina.

Argentinas Disappeared

The 36-year-old was born to Carlotto’s daughter Laura on June 26, 1978, while the young history student and political activist was held by the military junta.

The baby, whom Laura had named Guido, was taken from his mother; Laura was killed in captivity two months later, one of 30,000 left-wing activists murdered and “disappeared” during the 1976-1983 military rule in Argentina.

Ever since then, Estela Carlotto has been searching for her grandson, convinced that the boy was alive.

It was just about a month ago that Ignacio Hurban, who lives in Olavarria, about 200 miles southwest of Buenos Aires, came forward for DNA testing because he had doubts about his past. He went to the National Commission for the Right to Identity, a group set up specifically for this purpose, and requested DNA testing.

Shortly afterwards, federal judge Maria Servini de Cubria, who is in charge of several cases of babies who were stolen by the right-wing military regime, confirmed that Hurban was in fact Laura Carlotto’s son.

Kivo Carlotto, son of Estela and brother of Laura, announced to the world that a DNA test found with 99.9 percent certainty that his nephew had finally been found.

“The result of the test was positive. We have found my nephew after 35 years,” he told Todo Noticias television.

Grandmothers of the Plaza De Mayo

The Grandmothers and the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo were founded in 1977, the first groups set up by relatives of the disappeared. They are made up of women whose children and grandchildren have been victims of human rights violations.

I first heard of them in the mid-80s when I worked as a volunteer with Amnesty International. As a new mother, I couldn’t imagine anything worse than having my child snatched away from me and never knowing what happened to him. But as I read about these grandmothers and mothers in their signature white headscarves gathering each Thursday in Buenos Aires’ Plaza de Mayo, I was inspired to spread their stories and tell the world about all the people who had “disappeared” during Argentina’s “dirty war.”

Since 1977, these courageous women have been working tirelessly to reunite an estimated 500 children who were taken from leftists and government opponents during the military dictatorship in Argentina.

What an inspiring story of hope, courage and persistence in the face of evil. We can all take a lesson from Estela de Carlotto.

Photo Credit: online BBC video


Jonathan Harper
Jonathan Harper3 years ago


Terry Meek
Terry Meek3 years ago

What a great story! It's never to late to find a lost one! Best wishes to her family and her newly-found grandson.

Angela Padovani
Angie P3 years ago

Glad this woman found her grandson and can now spend time with him. She is getting up there in age, so I hope they spend as much time as they can together.

Carole R.
Carole R3 years ago


Cynthia no frwd B.
cynthia l3 years ago

Kudos to the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo
what a tragic time in history.
I am very happy Estella found her grandson after all of a long 36 years-wow

Julia W.
Julia W3 years ago

This woman is incredible. This was a violent tragic time and these women stood their ground-knowing they could be killed themselves. How wonderful she has finally found her own grandson!

Vicky P.
Vicky P3 years ago


BMutiny TCorporationsEvil

When ALL protest and dissent in Argentina was BRUTALLY BANNED, the Mothers and Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo, a Public Square in Buenos Aires, BRAVELY gathered, SILENTLY, dressed in Black {mourning} and with white scarves. They DARED the Regime to arrest a group of Women standing silently!
At times, the Regime DID react violently to them - and, some of the "Mothers" THEMSELVES became "disappeared". But they kept on ANYway...

They are called "the disappeared" because nobody would say ANYTHING about what had happened, and people were too intimidated to even ASK.... these young people, students, just VANISHED INTO THIN AIR, it seemed..... All resistance was CRUSHED. ANYbody could be arrested ANYtime for no reason. But, again, it was MAINLY THE YOUNG STUDENTS, who had been organizing and were radical and socialist and progressive, who "vanished into thin air suddenly"... Whole Universities were "cleaned out" of any Radical Student group, anyone who had belonged to one... and High Schools weren't spared either...
A book everyone should read, is Naomi Klein's "The Shock Doctrine". About what REALLY happened in Latin America.... damn right some people would like to see that happen here..... VOTE! Dammit! VOTE! and do MORE.....

BMutiny TCorporationsEvil

The adoptive parents, were supposed to tell the kids NOTHING ABOUT THEIR "COMMUNIST" ORIGINS. Nothing about their real parents who were murdered BY THE VERY PEOPLE TAKING CARE OF THEM, in a manner of speaking!!!

They weren't supposed to even know they were adopted. The parents were supposed to live a lie. The CATHOLIC CHURCH, as I said, actually ARRANGED for the kids to be snatched from their parents after being born, thru Nuns attending the births. By the way, older kids I guess were MURDERED ALONG WITH THEIR PARENTS as the "brainwashing" might not take hold with an older kid... The Catholic Church also EASED THE CONSCIENCES OF THE PARENTS, saying it was in the kids' best interests, to lie...
In spite of all that Coverup, some kids started to ask questions...
Imagine how TORN a kid would be, who perhaps LOVED the parents who had taken good care of him/her and raised them lovingly, to start to FIND OUT THE FACTS...
The white-scarfed Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, made sure NOBODY WOULD FORGET... They are one inspiration of Women In Black, a group that I vigil with almost every Thursday, it's an INTERNATIONAL group...

BMutiny TCorporationsEvil

Apparently, NUNS in the Catholic Church in Argentina, helped arrange for the adoptions of the children into WELL-CONNECTED MILITARY FAMILIES WHO SUPPORTED THE REGIME.
Joanne D. said:"The right wing clearly grabbed these children in order to brainwash them." YEP, YOU GOT THAT CORRECT. That was EXACTLY IT.

They were to be brought up as, quote, "GOOD CATHOLICS". In conservative, well-off households. This was not ONLY to "reward" the Military Families who supported the brutal, bloody regime. This was to "SAVE" the children from their EVIL COMMUNIST PARENTS. To rescue them from their "tainted births" to "Commies", and to "purify" them by giving them a "proper" upbringing in anti-Communist surroundings.
ANYone who opposed the Regime, was branded a "Communist". Some of them WERE - but not all. This was THE BIG BATTLE BETWEEN THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH, AND "GODLESS COMMUNISM". The U.S., of course, ALSO supported ANYone who was against "Godless Communism" - THE U.S. WAS AN INTRINSIC PART OF THIS.
The current Pope is from Argentina, by the way. No comment on that fact.