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$513,000 settlement for disappearance, illegal adoption during
By Associated Press, Published: January 24
MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay — Uruguay’s president has approved a $513,000
payment to Macarena Gelman, who was illegally adopted during the
dictatorship after her mother was tortured and disappeared.
The payment complies with an Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruling
that accuses Uruguay of delaying justice for crimes committed by its
dictatorship in the 1970s, according to a brief statement posted Tuesday
on the presidency’s website.
Gelman’s parents were kidnapped in Argentina and taken to a torture
center notorious for being a nexus of Operation Condor, the effort by
South America’s U.S.-supported dictatorships to combine forces and
eliminate opponents in each other’s countries.
Her father was then killed and her pregnant mother spirited to Uruguay,
where she disappeared after giving birth in a military hospital.
Decades passed before Macarena Gelman learned her true identity, as the
granddaughter of renowned Argentine poet Juan Gelman.
Macarena Gelman now works for Argentina’s human rights agency. She
declined to comment Tuesday on recieving the award from President Jose
Mujica, and said she doesn’t know if an ongoing study of human remains
found inside an Uruguayan military facility has turned up any links to
her missing mother.
About 30 people disappeared in Uruguay under the 1973-1985 dictatorship.
In neighboring Argentina, more than 150 Uruguayans were killed as part
of Operation Condor. Leftist Tupamaro guerrillas also had committed
violent crimes, including 57 killings, according to a military tally,
after taking up arms in 1963 against democratically elected governments.
Many of the guerrillas died in confrontations or served long prison
terms, including Mujica, a former Tupamaro who spent more than a decade
Juan Gelman won the 2007 Cervantes Prize, the most prestigious award for
Spanish-language literature. A journalist and left-wing political
activist as well as a poet, he broke with the Communist Party and later
with Argentina’s Montoneros guerrillas over their violent tactics.
Associated Press Writer Michael Warren contributed to this story.
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|“In all of us there
is a hunger, marrow-deep, to know our heritage, to know who we are
and where we have come from. Without this enriching knowledge, there
is a hollow yearning . . . and the most disquieting
Alex Haley, Author of Roots