“It is the Restitution of 42 Years of Absent Love”

August 3, 2018

Photo: Bill Hackwell

The Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo have announced the restitution of a new identity: his name is Marcos, who was kidnapped in Tucumán together with his mother, Rosario del Carmen Ramos.  His brothers have expressed “infinite gratitude” to the human rights organization responsible for finding him.

The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo confirmed the return of grandchild number 128.  His name is Marcos and he is the son of Rosario del Carmen Ramos, who in June of 1976 was disappeared in Tucumán province by the last military dictatorship. “For me this is the restitution of our absent love for 42 years,” said Camilo, one of the brothers of the 42 year old man who has now been able to be reunited with his family of origin.

The announcement was made at the headquarters of the human rights organization headed by Estela de Carlotto. She reaffirmed that they will “continue the struggle for all the missing grandchildren.” Finding the new grandchild and arranging the meeting with his family was possible because of newly obtained data never available before.  “As you can see, there are only four of us Grandmothers.  The rest are no longer here or are unwell.  But with our young and tireless team helping us continue on the path, we will keep searching, for as long as we live, for the hundreds of grandchildren still missing.”

Marcos was born on June 9, 1976 and in November of that year, his mother, his brother Ismael and him were kidnapped in an illegal operation by the security forces in the provincial capital.  The children were taken to a country home in Tafi Viejo, from which Ismael escaped while Marcos, the baby, stayed with his captors.  He had not been seen since.

Ismael described as “amazing” the work of the Grandmothers who are in constant search for the missing children. Then he was overcome with emotion and could not go on.  For the other brother, Camilo, the restitution “is to know the candle of hope still burns and that the struggle still continues. … It is the return of 42 years of absent love,” he added.

Marcos Eduardo Ramos is the son of Ismael Amado Suleiman and Rosario del Carmen, who was born in Santiago del Estero in October, 1948.  She was “an active militant of the PRT (Workers Revolutionary Party)” and at 28 years of age, after she and Ismael separated during her pregnancy, she was kidnapped in San José, Tucumán.  She was held for weeks until she was freed, and three months later she was disappeared.

Carlotto recounted that the search was initiated by Ismael Ramos, who in 1999 approached the National Commission for the Right to Identity (CONADI) and said that in 1976 he had been kidnapped with his brother and mother, and that he “never heard anything of them again.”  Then, in 2013, information was received about the existence of a son of disappeared parents who was taken by someone implicated in crimes against humanity in Tucumán, whose identity was not revealed.

The investigation confirmed that information and the formal denunciation was presented before the Tucumán court, and the Federal Court, which then ordered a sampling of the man’s DNA to prove his parentage. “Marcos voluntarily agreed to place the results of his DNA test in the National Bank of Genetic Data,” noted Carlotto.

Marcos is the second grandchild restored in Tucumán province and his case is part of “the proof of the local chapter of a systematic plan to disappear the children.”  The restitution of Marcos “must contribute to the end of denial, justification and the forgiveness that persists in parts of society, particularly in Tucumán,” noted the leader of the Grandmothers.

“Our grandsons and granddaughters may be in any corner of the country. Any information, however insignificant it may appear, might be the missing piece of information that results in the discovery of one of them,” she reminded us.


Source: Pagina 12, translation by North America bureau