Daughter of Argentina’s ‘Dirty War,’ Raised by the Man Who Killed Her Parents – NYTimes.com

A less-well-known part of Argentina’s history gets a little more attention:

The abduction of an estimated 500 babies was one of the most traumatic chapters of the military dictatorship that ruled Argentina from 1976 to 1983. The frantic effort by mothers and grandmothers to locate their missing children has never let up. It was the one issue that civilian presidents elected after 1983 did not excuse the military for, even as amnesty was granted for other “dirty war” crimes.“Even the many Argentines who considered the amnesty a necessary evil were unwilling to forgive the military for this,” said José Miguel Vivanco, the Americas director for Human Rights Watch.In Latin America, the baby thefts were largely unique to Argentina’s dictatorship, Mr. Vivanco said. There was no such effort in neighboring Chile’s 17-year dictatorship.

via Daughter of Argentina’s ‘Dirty War,’ Raised by the Man Who Killed Her Parents – NYTimes.com.


4 thoughts on “Daughter of Argentina’s ‘Dirty War,’ Raised by the Man Who Killed Her Parents – NYTimes.com”

  1. This reminds me a little of Herod, although some parents were killed instead of their babies in this case. How immoral to kill the parents of a baby and then raise the baby as your own. I still cannot understand what was the purpose of these people… I think that it is very understandable that Argentines are unwilling to forgive the military for that.

    I am not very familiar with the Dirty War, but it seems as a very horrible period were many people died or disappeared; among those that died were students, journalists, activists, and many others. What I found to be interesting is that about 30 years later it was revealed that Henry Kissinger supported the military junta and urged them to finish the war before the U.S. Congress cut their aid. How sad that even America got its hands dirty in such a tragic episode of Argentina.


  2. Initially, I was very confused by this war time behavior. What could the incentive be to steal babies? It seems so contrary to the theft, rape, and murder you usually hear about during a time of conflict. After thinking about it though, it seems to beg the question of whether or not the government/ military was going to kill the parents of these children anyway. If so, if their parents posed as a leftist threat and were going to be murdered, than taking their children so they had a home in which to be raised, actually seems like a surprisingly humane thing to do. Victoria was not mistreated. She may have had to deal with growing up with a ‘father’ who was a military man who infused her with his ideologies. but then again, I grew up with republican ideals because my parents spoke of them often. I am very interested for this trial to proceed to get more of an explanation as to why these events occurred. It seems like, as twisted as their reasoning may have been, they had good intentions. Even the Catholic church backed such behavior. I wonder how we would think of it differently if it were mormon families finding children of dead parents and taking hundreds of them into our home to give them a better life?

    A little more on the upcoming trial: http://o.seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2016447912_argetinebabies09.html

  3. This is a very interesting and sad story that makes me think of how complicated it is to build a democracy having an obscure past of human rights violations. Much research has been made to test whether or not human right trials are likely to improve the chances of democratic regimes after dictatorships. I personally think that holding accountable abusers is necessary to stop injustice and the resurgence of new revolutionary groups. In Colombia for example, the revolutionary armed forces were formed after the systemic assassination of leftist political groups by the state, in which the crimes are still open and nobody was hold accountable. At the same time, however, I will find it very hard to support a government who has commit torture, force disappearance, illegal appropriation, and others. Legitimacy becomes a challenge when states become predatory.
    The biggest question here would be how to intervene. The U.S tried to intervene with foreign military training, and instead of decreasing human rights violations, they were actually exacerbated. International organizations like Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch have tried to investigate these events and find answers, but this answers come many years after. Our challenge is to actually prevent these atrocities, something very hard to do in a world composed of nation states with sovereign rights, in which individuals cultural, economic, and social backgrounds can produce very different outcomes. I am sure that the U.S government in the 1970’s and 1080’s never meant to build a school of dictators and assassins for Latin America, unfortunately, good will can go wrong, http://www.nytimes.com/1996/09/28/opinion/school-of-the-dictators.html?scp=9&sq=U.S%20foreign%20military%20training%20in%20Latin%20America&st=cse

  4. I totally agree with mparra86, that the first thought that I had was about Herod and the circumstances surrounding the birth of Christ. At that time, it was a wicked action done just to satisfy the pride of an evil dictator. I imagine that it would be a similar situation for these crimes commited in Argentina. A country could change and things could get better, but if it were my child, I do not think that it would be easy for me to forgive the Argentine military for such an action.

    I am filled with mixed emotion as I read this article. On the one hand, many of these girls lost their parents in the war so they would have been orphans anyways if these men had not taken them. As I understand, there were no complaints of abuse, but these men treated the children as their own after so many years. On the other hand, it is just so unethical and immoral the act that they commited that I do not agree with what they did at all in principle.

    A little bit more coverage of the trial:

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