A woman in Argentina has been reunited with her family 40 years after the country’s military dictatorship kidnapped her parents during its infamous “Dirty War.”
In an emotional press conference Thursday, members of the woman’s extended family and leaders from the Argentine human rights organization, the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo, formally announced that they had a DNA match with the woman and her family members.
“We are all waiting for her with open arms,” the woman’s aunt, Adriana Moyano, said during a press conference Thursday in the South American nation’s capital, Buenos Aires.
Another aunt, Elsa Poblete, added of her long lost niece: “We love her intensely.”
She is the 127th child to be reunited with his or her biological family since the end of Argentina’s dictatorship, which lasted from 1976 to 1983. This year, the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo have identified six adults belonging to parents who went missing during the dictatorship.
As the woman adjusts to a jarring new reality, organization officials did not reveal her identity or that of the family that raised her.
Her parents, Maria del Carmen Moyano and Carlos Poblete, were kidnapped sometime in April or May of 1977, according to the Grandmothers’ organization. Moyano was believed to be eight to nine months pregnant at the time. They were taken in the city of Cordoba, about 430 miles west of Buenos Aires.
The couple was associated with a violent, revolutionary group against the dictatorship known as the Montoneros. Moyano was transferred to Argentina’s naval base in Buenos Aires where thousands were tortured during the dictatorship. She gave birth to her daughter there, according to the organization. She, along with the woman’s father, is presumed to be dead or missing.
During Argentina’s dictatorship, about 30,000 citizens disappeared, most believed to have been killed by the authoritarian regime. Some were critics of the government. According to the human rights organization, there are about 350 other children separated from family during the Dirty War who have yet to be identified and reunited with loved ones.
The Grandmothers first began protesting decades ago in and around Plaza de Mayo, the main square in front of the presidential palace in Buenos Aires. Once dismissed by the dictatorship as ludicrous, the organization has received worldwide recognition over the last four decades for its work reuniting people with their biological families.
Estela de Carlotto, the current leader of the organization who accompanied the family members Thursday, knows how they feel. In 2014, she was reunited with her own grandson, who was taken from the family when Carlotto’s daughter, Laura, was kidnapped by authorities in 1978.