Sunday, June 13, 2021

ARGENTINA | 13-06-2019 14:54

Abuelas welcome grandson no. 130: Javier Matías

The 130th recovered grandchild will now start a new search for answers: whether his pregnant mother, disappeared during Argentina's dictatorship, ever gave birth to his baby brother or sister.

As rare as they come, the presentation of the 130th recovered grandchild at the headquarters of Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo on Thursday included the presence the very man whose story they had come to reveal.

Through DNA testing at Argentina's Banco de Datos Genéticos, Javier Matías Darroux Mijalchuk recently learned he was the son of two people disappeared by Argentina's military during the 1976-83 dictatorship when the snatching of babies and toddler was common practice.

"I resisted coming to the Grandmothers because I was fine with who I was, or at least I believed that. But towards the end of 2006 I understood that even though it wasn't important for me, I couldn't be so selfish because there were other people searching for me", Javier Matías said during the press conference alongside his maternal uncle and Grandmothers president Estela de Carlotto.

The son of Elena Mijalchuk and Juan Manuel Darroux, Javier Matías was just four months old when a woman found him alone in the street in 1977. He was later adopted. His father had taken him to Pampa street in Buenos Aires City in search of information about the location of his wife, Elena, who had disappeared just days earlier. Both were disappeared and never seen again. Elena was pregnant at the time.

Referring to his maternal uncle, Javier Matías said: "It is difficult to understand what he has been through. The joy is partial because having found me, means he will never find his sister".

Elena's pregnancy in 1977 means Javier Matías could have a brother or sister. The military would often keep pregnant female detainees until they delivered their babies, then illegally adopt those babies out to military, police or civilian families.

The Grandmothers believe up to 500 babies and toddlers were taken during the dictatorship.


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