Tracing an appropriated baby to Olavarría
After the good news of the recovery of Estela Barnes de Carlotto’s grandson, Federal Judge María Romilda Servini de Cubría will have to face a difficult task: determining how Laura Carlotto’s baby appeared in the city of Olavarría, Buenos Aires province. Everything indicates that a well-known ranch owner — who was one of the leading members of the city’s Rural Society and was included on a ballot list for Buenos Aires Mayor Mauricio Macri’s ballot list — was the person who gave Guido to a couple of farmhands working for him.
It was during his last birthday on June 2 that Ignacio Hurban heard something that made him think that he was not Clemente and Juana Hurban’s natural son. The 36-year-old man came face to face with the people who brought him up and asked them about it. They admitted that he was not their son.
As he said at a press conference held in Friday at Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo headquarters, he started searching for his real identity. “I was afraid of not finding my real parents,” Ignacio —as he wants to be called — or Guido — as his mother Laura named him — admitted.
Ignacio’s girlfriend, Celeste Madueña, reportedly received a message that made them think that the 36-year-old musician could be the child of disappeared parents. The message came more than two months after Carlos Francisco “Pancho” Aguilar’s passing.
Clemente and Juana Hurban worked for Aguilar and he is reportedly the person who gave the baby to the woman who wanted to have a son.
“He has always said he was in good terms with the military. He spoke of them as friends,” a source from Olavarría who knows one of Aguilar’s children said. Aguilar has two children, Francisco and Jerónimo. “They had nothing to do with his father’s political stance,” the source made it clear. Rumours say that one of them was in fact the person that sent the message to Celeste. The Herald tried repeatedly to contact the members of the family but they declined to comment.
Sources told the Herald that Aguilar was a member of the Conservative Democratic Party, an organization founded in 1908. But in 2007 the man was included in the centre-right PRO party ballot list for the City Council. In fact, it was part of an agreement between the party headed by Macri and former lawmaker and businessman Francisco de Narváez. “In fact, he was not a real candidate. He only gave his name,” a source said.
Aguilar was one of the heads of the Rural Society in the city and he used to breed horses, an activity in which one of his children is still involved.
“Since we learnt about Guido’s appearance, we started investigating Aguilar’s links with the military,” Carmelo Vinci, a member of the local Commission for Memory, yesterday told the Herald.
Sources told the Herald that Aguilar was indirectly linked to Buenos Aires province police chief Ramón Camps, who commanded the repression in the province. Laura Carlotto was abducted in November 1977 and taken to the clandestine detention centre known as “La Cacha,” which was located in the city of La Plata. The concentration camp was located within the so-called “Camps repressive circuit.”
According to the sources, Aguilar’s cousins were married to some top advisers to the provincial police chief. Aguilar’s wife Susana Mozotegui was reportedly linked to the military.
But the links are still a mystery that has to be unveiled by Servini de Cubría. The judge also requested the local Civil Registry to submit Ignacio Hurban’s birth certificate, which is an important document to determine who was the doctor who signed the fake certificate. There it is said that Ignacio was born on June 2, 1978 but in fact he was born 24 days later. It is not clear if Laura Carlotto gave birth to him in the Olmos Penitentiary hospital, located next to “La Cacha” or in BA City Central Military Hospital.
Ignacio was brought up in a place located a few kilometres from the clandestine detention centre that operated in Olavarría between 1977 and 1978, known as Monte Peloni. That was not the only place that operated as a secret detention facility during the last dictatorship. According to Vinci, the local police station and a military garrison were also used to held political activists and to torture them.
Olavarría will have to revise its past. Guido or Ignacio’s case can trigger that necessary revision.@lucianabertoia