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Monday 4 December 2023 Dublin: 4°C

Argentina activist reunited with 'wrong granddaughter'

Mariani’s granddaughter, Clara Anahi Mariani, was abducted as a three-month-old infant when regime agents killed her mother.

gran AFP / Twitter AFP / Twitter / Twitter

A 92-YEAR-OLD Argentine activist who has spent decades looking for her missing granddaughter has been reunited with the wrong woman.

The woman thought to be the lost granddaughter of an activist who searches for babies stolen during Argentina’s 1976-1983 military dictatorship turned out to be someone else.

Two genetic tests showed that the 39-year-old woman in question is not the granddaughter of Maria “Chicha” Mariani, the government said.

Mariani, 92 and nearly blind, is one of the best known Argentine rights activists, and the Christmas Eve news that she had finally found her granddaughter was the feel-good story of the season. President Mauricio Macri even congratulated her on Twitter.

She is one of the founders of the Grandmothers of the Plaza del Mayo, a human rights group seeking to find children stolen or illegally adopted during Argentina’s so-called “Dirty War”.

Babies born into captivity

Babies born in captivity to political prisoners or orphaned by assassinations were given to families sympathetic to the regime or even taken in by their parents’ killers.

Mariani’s granddaughter, Clara Anahi Mariani, was abducted as a three-month-old infant when regime agents killed her mother.

On Christmas Eve, a statement from the Anahi Foundation, which Mariani created in 1989 after stepping down as president of the Grandmothers group, said DNA testing had confirmed “with 99.9 percent” certainty that the woman identified as Clara Anahi was Mariani’s granddaughter.

That DNA test was carried out privately by the woman, who has not been named.

However, two DNA tests — one in early 2015 and the other made public on Friday — show no relationship between the two women, said Pablo Parenti, head of the government office that searches for children kidnapped during the dictatorship.

The second test was carried out by the National Genetic Data Bank (BNDG), the institution that provides official results for such cases.

“Both reports are conclusive in showing that there is no relationship between the genetic profile of this young woman and the Chicha Mariani family group, nor with the other families that are still looking for abducted children,” read the statement.

Mariani urged “caution” in a separate statement, saying that the results of the second test needed to be confirmed.

An estimated 500 babies were stolen by Argentina’s military regime, which abducted, tortured and killed opponents and suspected sympathisers.

Some 30,000 people were killed or “disappeared” during the dictatorship.

© – AFP 2015

Read: Some Ryan Report recommendations yet to be implemented due to lack of resources>

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