The president of Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo, Estela de Carlotto, was honored on Tuesday as an Honorary Member of the Boca Juniors football team, in a ceremony she attended at the “Bombonera” stadium in the La Boca neighborhood of Buenos Aires.
“Today is an exceptional day for me. The exception is that I am now a member of such a unique and famous team,” said Carlotto to an audience of 250 people. “My husband (Guido Carlotto) was a player for Estudiantes de La Plata team. Surely his spirit, wherever he is, is asking me what am I doing. I tell him I did what I felt I had to. I know my husband in heaven will understand,” she joked.
“It’s been 45 years of fighting, and we still need to find 300 grandchildren, because we’ve already got 133 back”, said the head of the institution that works to find the children of disappeared people who were born in captivity and stolen by the military during Argentina’s last civic-military dictatorship.
Buscarita Roa (85), another member of the Grandmothers and a renowned human rights activist, was also honored at the ceremony.
The ceremony was hosted by Boca Juniors president Jorge Amor Ameal, together with Alejandro Veiga, head of the team’s Human Rights Commission. Guests included Environment and Development Minister Juan Cabandie (a son of disappeared parents and the 77th grandchild found by the Grandmothers), ruling coalition Frente de Todos activist Carlos Kunkel, and Marcelo Achile, president of the Defensores de Belgrano team who attended to represent the Argentine Football Association (AFA)
“When we got to run this team three years ago, we needed to regain the Boca Juniors identity. And this ceremony is linked to that,” said Ameal. “I said to Estela that from now on she can’t say she is an Estudiantes supporter, now she cheers for Boca,” said the president with irony.
“Boca as an institution never acknowledged what was happening during the dictatorship, and by keeping silent all those years you end up being an accomplice to what happened,” said Veiga. “So, this Board has a memory about the past.”