Buenos Aires, Argentina- As a kid who grew up in La Plata in the 1980s, Leonardo Fossati would look in the mirror and think that reality is on the other side.
This is a game played by a little boy. He feels like living in a movie, there are things in his own life that he can’t see. Years later, he has learned more about the game: this shows that his story has more meaning.
In fact, his story is completely different. The person raising him was not his biological parents, and a DNA test in 2005 determined that he was one of them. Argentine stolen grandson: A baby born in captivity during the military dictatorship that threatened the country from 1976 to 1983 and handed over to other families to raise.
His parents, Ines Beatriz Ortega and Rubén Leonardo Fossati, estimated that 30,000 people were missing by security forces during this period , Its remains have never been recovered.
“No matter how difficult it is, the truth will always lay a solid foundation for your life,” he said.
Fossati and others like him knew the truth thanks to Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo (grandmother of Plaza de Mayo), a women’s organization that ignored Argentina’s silence during the dictatorship and held weekly marches to ask to know them. What happened to the missing child and grandchildren.
At present, 130 people have been recovered through DNA testing.But the search is still going on about 300 times-and a new campaign is trying Use COVID-19 vaccination Help with this task.
‘Help us find you’
As 40-year-olds (the age group corresponding to their grandchildren) are now vaccinated in Argentina, Abuelas asks people Post their jab photos on social media With #UnaDosisDeIdentidad (one dose of identity) tag.
These posts are accompanied by text urging anyone who was born between 1975 and 1980 and has questions about their identity to contact the organization, which has been trying to keep the search alive.
“We think this is an opportunity because in a very short time, the grandchildren we are looking for will be noticed because they are being vaccinated,” said Belen Altamiranda Taranto, the 88th grandson currently working with Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo Located in the city of Cordoba.
This year, the government also launched a campaign against Argentines living abroad under the banner of “Argentina Te Busca”-Argentina is looking for you. Several people discovered their true identities after immigrating to the Netherlands, the United States and Spain as adults. Others found in Chile and Uruguay were younger.
“Help us find you,” Foreign Minister Felipe Sola said in a video message instructing people to contact the Argentine consulate with questions.
The whereabouts of so many grandchildren are still unknown, which shows that those who committed the atrocities are still silent.
Under the guise of eradicating left-wing insurgents, the security forces launched a wide-ranging national terrorism campaign and eliminated dissidents, students, activists, union activists, journalists, etc.
During the dictatorship, people were snatched from the streets, tortured, murdered, thrown from airplanes into the river below, or buried in unmarked graves. The young women who were pregnant at the time of their disappearance gave birth in a secret detention center, and their babies were subsequently placed in the homes of families supporting the military or with others who did not ask about the origin of the children.
The Argentine court found in 2012 that these were not isolated incidents, but a systematic crime against humanity plan to occupy children. More than 1,000 people were sentenced for their roles in that dark period.
Destroy the generation
Initiatives like the Una Dosis movement brought a glimmer of hope to 41-year-old Anna Carriquiriborde and others, whose aunt Gabriela Carriquiriborde disappeared in La Plata in 1976. Her family is looking for her baby born in captivity in December of that year.
Carriquiriborde said that witnesses said the baby was a boy, although a woman who believed she was Gabriela’s daughter is currently waiting for the results of a DNA test. The other two people also suspected that they were Gabriela’s children, but they tested negative.
“Obviously, I am very eager to meet my cousin,” said Carriquiriborde, who lives and grew up in La Plata but was born and raised in Sweden. Sweden has provided political asylum for her parents who fled the dictatorship. “We have been talking about this at home. Finding the ending in this story will bring us a lot of happiness.”
She said this discovery was especially important to her father. Like his missing sister, he is a member of Peronista’s Peronist political party, Juventus University Peronista, and feels guilty for what happened to her.
Carriquiriborde said: “I think all of this is very evil. I captured them in order to take away their children.” “They took our present. This is my aunt and our future. The military dictatorship has destroyed generations of people. .”
It took a few years to produce Collective consciousness What happened, if there is one thing that is not conducive to search, it’s time.
“There are very few grandmothers left,” Taranto said. “They are already very old, and seeing them leave us and unable to find the bodies of their grandchildren or their children, I feel very sad and helpless.”
“Sense of Freedom”
Taranto and Fosatti, both 44 years old, described how they gain a sense of empowerment once they can discover who they are.
Taranto met two sets of grandparents before they died. “It’s not a cliché, but you will feel a kind of freedom-I am free to use my story to do what I want,” said Taranto, of his missing parents Christian Adrian and Natalia Vanessa is a member of the Workers’ Revolutionary Party.
In Fossati’s case, his mother was a member of Unión Estudiantil Secundaria (Secondary Student Union), and his father was a member of Juventud Universitaria Peronista.
The couple who raised him had nothing to do with the military. One day in 1977, they received a call from a local midwife who said that she had a child and needed a home. Fossati himself discovered that he was not their biological child and sought answers after becoming a father.
“What happened to me was not adoption, but funding,” he said.
He now runs a memorial space in a former secret detention center in La Plata, where his parents are being held. This is where he was born.
“I started to understand that you not only inherit skin color, eye color, or body shape from your genes,” said Fosatti, who almost named his child Leonardo, a few years later when he found out that it was his name. Just took this name. His mother named him. “Everything else is inherited during pregnancy.”
He added that suspicion is also inherited-so he urges anyone who might be suspicious to find answers. “Time flies quickly, and it’s worth overcoming fear,” he said. “Knowing who you are is your right.”
Anyone who has questions about their identity can contact Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo through their contact details website.