Argentine man finds brother stolen by military regime


The son of two leftist activists “disappeared” by Argentina’s 1976-1983 military regime said Wednesday he would like to meet his long-lost brother, who was stolen at birth and recently found through DNA testing.

“We have 40 years of love to give you,” Ramiro Menna, a 42-year-old teacher, told the brother he has never met.

He was speaking at a news conference at the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo, an organization that works to find the estimated 500 babies stolen and illegally adopted during Argentina’s right-wing dictatorship.

Menna was two years old when regime agents swooped on his family’s home in July 1976 and detained his parents, Ana Maria Lanzillotto and Domingo Menna.

They were activists in the Revolutionary Workers’ Party, which had launched an armed rebellion against the regime.

Menna, who was raised mainly by his uncles, later learned his mother was eight months pregnant at the time.

His parents were never heard from again — two of the estimated 30,000 people killed or “disappeared” during the dictatorship.

But he did not give up hope of finding his baby brother, who was apparently given to a family close to the regime to raise as their own.

Forty years later, he may finally get to meet him.

This week, Menna’s missing brother became the 121st stolen baby to be identified by the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo.

But the younger brother, who did not want to be named, has asked for time to put together the pieces of his new identity.

“We want to hug you. We’re waiting for you,” Menna told him at the rights group’s headquarters in Buenos Aires.

“The anxiety is immense, and we know that the road you have to walk is difficult,” he said.

“But the sooner the better,” he added with a laugh.

Menna’s late grandmothers were both active in the organization, which was founded in 1977 to demand answers on the fate of the babies born in captivity to its members’ missing sons and daughters.

Argentine media reports said Menna’s younger brother is a doctor in Buenos Aires.

“I know a little about him. We don’t want to reveal his identity if he doesn’t want to. I know he has two children and that he’s bald with a beard, like me,” Menna said.

© 2016 AFP

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