Monday, September 1, 2014

The Weekender – Once Was Lost, But Now Am Found

“The Weekender” is our new feature where every weekend we hope to highlight a short film, movie or documentary pertaining to the Americas. We’re running this feature today since it’s a holiday weekend here in the U.S.
August 31st was the annual observance of the International Day of the Disappeared, which is an occasion used to commemorate the millions of victims gone missing often as a result of war, violence and human rights abuses.  Sadly, this problem has plagued numerous Latin American countries such as a Colombia plagued by decides of armed conflict and drug-rated violence in Mexico.

One of the most infamous examples of disappearances in Latin America has been the estimated 30,000 individuals missing during the dark “Dirty War” period in Argentina from 1976 to 1983.  While numerous former Argentine military commanders and officers have faced justice in recent years for their roles during the brutal “Dirty War” era, numerous organizations and activists have campaigned to reunite missing individuals with their families.

One of the best known of these groups is the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo, which for nearly four decades has worked to identify babies born to political dissidents and put up illegally for adoption.  Thus far the “Abuelas” have identified 115 missing individuals including two in August alone.  One of these was Guido Montoya Carlotto, the grandson of Grandmothers founder Estela de Carlotto who was born in June 1978 to parents detained and later executed by state security forces.

The video below the page break is a documentary detailing the seemingly tireless efforts by “Abuelas” activists and others to shed light on the illegal adoptions during the “Dirty War”.  The 2010 film produced by Australian TV network SBS includes revealing interviews with several individuals identified by the Grandmothers and the children of a media magnate who rejected any efforts to see if they may have been adopted illegally. 

Video Source – Journeyman Pictures via YouTube

Online Sources – Wikipedia; CNN; Reuters; Al Jazeera

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