Between 1976 and 1983, Argentina was ruled by a military dictatorship who captured and tortured thousands of political prisoners.
The UK’s Indepedent has an interesting story about a brother and sister — heirs to a big media fortune — who have been forced to submit to DNA testing to see if they are among the hundreds of children stolen from the prisoners and adopted by wealthy supporters of the juntas:
Marcel and Felipe Noble Herrera appeared to have hit a legal dead-end in their efforts to stall efforts by human rights groups to determine whether they were illegally adopted 34 years ago by their mother, Ernestina Herrera de Noble, the owner of the Clarin publishing group and one of Latin America’s best-known media tycoons.
A group called The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo have been campainging for years to discover the identities of those who disappeared– both former prisoners and the children stolen from them:
Closely allied with President Cristina Fernández, the Grandmothers have been striving for nine years to identify children snatched from the prisons. So far they have succeeded in naming 101 children who were subsequently given to families, many of which were supportive of the junta at the time.
As in this case, however, some of the offspring, now nearing middle age, have expressed opposition to the effort. “For them, we would be just No. 102, No. 103. Just a number. … And that’s not how it is – a person is not just a number,” Ms Herrera said.
In this specific case, the Herrera siblings say there is no evidence they were stolen and that a hunt for their birth mother is an invasion of their privacy. Of course, if there is some evidence, their plea ignores a big part of the equation here. Justice demands the birth parents know the truth — and that the adoptive parents get jail time.
Indeed, for the now-adult children, it could turn their world upside down. I wonder if it also jeopardizes these wealthy siblings’ future, since they are heirs to such a large fortune and media empire.