Her Identity Was a 40-Year-Old Secret. Then It Unraveled
She was one of 126 babies confirmed as stolen in Argentina's 'Dirty War'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 6, 2017 12:22 PM CST
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Adriana, daughter of two activists who were killed during the Argentine dictatorship in 1976, smiles after a news conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)

(Newser) – Violeta Ortolani was eight months pregnant when she was detained by Argentina's military in 1976 during the country's "Dirty War." Following the January 1977 birth of her daughter, the 23-year-old wasn't seen again, nor was her 21-year-old partner, Edgardo Garnier, following his detention in February of that year as he searched for the two. The child, now 40 and identified only as Adriana, was raised by another couple, believing they were her biological parents—but after their recent deaths, someone told her that wasn't the case, reports the BBC. "I found out on a Saturday and on the Monday I had already gone to the Grandmothers." That's the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo, a group devoted to tracking the children taken from parents who were among 30,000 Argentinians imprisoned or killed under a brutal dictatorship between 1976 and 1983, per the AP.

Adriana took a DNA test and then heard nothing for four months. On Monday, she learned she was the 126th child "found" by the Grandmothers and the daughter of Ortolani and Garnier. The BBC notes Garnier's mother was herself involved with the Grandmothers and continually searched for her own lost grandchild. Though Adriana hasn't yet met her in person, they have spoken via phone. She is "beautiful inside and out," says Adriana, adding "love is stronger than hate, always." The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo notes Ortolani and Garnier had been members of a left-wing student group while studying engineering in La Plata. (The group's founder previously located her grandson.)

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