For 36 years, the body of a man – that washed on shore in Uruguay along with six others – has lain in a grave, marked ‘NN’ for unknown name.
Yesterday, at a press conference, Hilda Victoria Montenegro – flanked by the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo and the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team – announced that the remains were those of her father, Roque Orlando Montenegro.
“It’s miraculous,” she said, according to reports from Univision.
Victoria, along with her parents, disappeared in February 1976 during the final months of Isabel Perón’s government. Evidence shows that after the military coup on 24th March 1976, Roque Montenegro was thrown into the Río de la Plata during a ‘death flight,’ a method of disappearance used by the last dictatorship where victims were drugged and thrown from planes to drown. Her mother, Hilda Ramona Torres, has never been found.
Victoria was taken and raised by Colonel Hernán Antonio Tetzlaff and his wife. She did not know her true identity until 2000.
“The only truth is that the research provided by the forensic anthropology team confirmed that they were kidnapped for several months and my dad was a victim of the death flights,” Victoria said, according to Univision.
Página12 reported that the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo’s president Estela de Carlotto said this was a “step in the progress toward truth.”
“It’s one more step in the fight, because those who still disbelieve start believing that the disappearances, appropriations and deaths during the dictatorship happened, and that they themselves are part of this story, that they can write pages of what has not been said,” she said to the newspaper.
According to estimates from human rights organisations, about 30,000 people disappeared and 500 children were stolen during the last dictatorship.