Buenos Aires Times

argentina human rights

Conviction for illegal dictatorship adoption

Segundo Héctor Carabajal was sentenced for the seizure of Claudia Domínguez Castro.

Saturday 9 March, 2019
Retired military officer Segundo Héctor Carabajal.
Retired military officer Segundo Héctor Carabajal. Foto:TIMES/AFP

A former Army intelligence agent was handed a 10-year prison sentence on Thursday for baby-snatching during the 1976-1983 military dictatorship.

A couple also received a three-year suspended sentence for the illegal adoption of a daughter from her disappeared parents.

Segundo Héctor Carabajal was sentenced for the seizure of Claudia Domínguez Castro, 41, who only learned her true surname four years ago when she was identified as the daughter of Gladys Castro and Walter Domínguez, both Mendoza Communists.

Acting as plaintiffs, the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo had requested a 15-year sentence for Carabajal and six years for the couple, Julio Bozzo and Antonia Reitano, who had registered the baby as their own daughter.

Her real parents were abducted from their house in the Mendoza suburb of Godoy Cruz in late 1977, when the mother was six months pregnant. Claudia was born in captivity three months later, according to the human rights group. That was apparently the last heard of either parent.

The Grandmothers hailed the verdict as “some justice” after 41 years although deploring the suspended sentence for the couple illegally adopting Claudia.

Never had a couple guilty of this crime been treated so leniently since the last century, said the Grandmothers.

According to the human rights organisation, there were around 500 similar cases of baby-snatching, of which 128 have since recovered their identity.

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