Mother of Plaza de Mayo Nora Cortiñas in intensive care following surgery

The beloved 94-year-old human rights activist is recovering from a hernia operation and also has a pulmonary infection

Nora Cortiñas, a historic human rights activist who co-founded the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo (founding branch), remains in intensive care with a pulmonary infection after undergoing a hernia operation last week.

At time of writing, Cortiñas’ health situation remained unchanged since she first entered ITU, according to a message her son Marcelo Cortiñas sent to activists and friends that the Herald had access to.

“We know some people want to visit Nora and understand all the affection and admiration she elicited during her life and fight,” the text said. “She is in intensive care, where access is restricted and sometimes we, her close family, have to take turns [to see her].”

“She is in no condition to receive visitors. We ask for respect, for her and us, and for you to understand the moment we are going through,” her son added.

The text also pointed to her 40-year-long fight to bring justice for those who were forcibly disappeared. “Now it’s our turn to be with her and take care of her.”

According to a Facebook post by human rights activist Hernán Nemi, the intervention happened a few days ago and “went well,” but she is in intensive care “due to her old age and previous [health] issues.”

Nora Morales de Cortiñas (94), also known as “Norita,” co-founded Mothers of Plaza de Mayo in 1977. At the time, she was desperately searching for her eldest son, Carlos Gustavo, who was disappeared by the military dictatorship that ruled the country between 1976 and 1983. Gustavo was a political activist, a member of the Peronist party Partido Justicialista and armed organization Montoneros.

Although she was never able to find her son, Cortiñas carried on with the fight to bring justice to him and the 30,000 people disappeared by the dictatorship. She also expanded her activism to other areas regarding human rights, such as the right to safe and free legal abortion and the fight against police and gender-based violence.

Cortiñas was last seen in public on March 24 at the National Day of Memory, Truth, and Justice march. Despite her age and mobility issues, she was present at May Square in her wheelchair, appearing with her usual white handkerchief over her head and a picture of Gustavo hanging from her neck.

Since Monday night, social media app X has been filled with thousands of messages giving her strength and wishing her a swift recovery with the phrase Fuerza Norita.


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