GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The body of a man who had dissappeared 36 years ago during Argentina’s “dirty wars” was identified, bringing closure to a daughter brought up by military parents.
The man, Roque Orlando Montenegro, who had been buried in an unmarked grave in Uruguay, is suspected of having been on a death flight, where opponents to the military, were thrown from planes. Montenegro and his wife had been members of People’s Revolutionary Army (ERP). Both were kidnapped together with their newborn daughter, Victoria, in February 1976, a month before the military coup, and disappeared.
At the age of 20, Victoria Montenegro learned that the army colonel and his wife who had brought her up were not her biological parents. “I was appropriated”, Montenegro says, referring to the term used for children taken from parents who were killed or disappeared during the military’s pursuit on opponents.
A DNA test, which the human rights organization, Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo had arranged for Montenegro to clarify her identity, then allowed forensic anthropologists to identify a body found in Colonia de Sacramento in Uruguay, as her father’s.
Human rights organizations estimate that approximately 30,000 people were killed or disappeared in Argentina between 1976 and 1982.