For decades the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo searched for the truth about what happened to their children during General Videla’s cruel regime.
Many people disappeared during his dictatorship in Argentina in the late 70s and early 80s. The mothers, with the support of the now leading international human rights activist Nora Cortiñas, pressed for answers, defying their government, as Nora explained during a visit to Cambridge University on November 1.
The 86-year-old gave a talk, along with economist Beverly Keene, about the mothers and the recent alleged murder of Santiago Maldonado, 27, on Benetton owned land in Patagonia.
During Videla’s regime Nora joined a group of mothers who had met in the waiting rooms of police stations while trying to discover the whereabouts of their children. Here they organised the first of a continuing series of demonstrations in front of the Presidential Palace in the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires. Nora lost her son Carlos Gustavo, a university student and member of the Peronist youth movement in 1977. He was taken by the military from the National Institute of statistics and census, Buenos Aires, and disappeared without a trace.
The enormous risks the mothers took was illustrated by the fact that some of them, including Azucena de Villaflor, their first president, were forcibly ‘disappeared’.