“We have found the son of Cristina Navajas and Julio Santucho, the grandson of Nélida Navajas,” Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo leader Estela de Carlotto announced. She could not go on: an emotional, cheerful and rapturous applause forced her to stop.
The legendary human rights group announced last Friday the appearance of the 133rd missing grandchild. The announcement was made at a press conference in which they detailed the story of Cristina Navajas and Julio Santucho, and their son, the newly recovered grandchild.
During the conference they remembered that Cristina, mother of the grandson and a victim of the dictatorship, was kidnapped on July 13, 1976 while she was pregnant, during the operation of a gang at the family’s flat on Avenida Warnes. “She was a teacher at a Workers’ Revolutionary Party (PRT, in its Spanish acronym) school, where she taught history of Latin American revolutions."
Julio, in turn, the father, “was the 10th child and was expected to pursue a religious career, until he met Cristina.”
“Julio found out about the kidnapping of his wife on July 14, 1976. He immediately started the formalities to get his children out of the country,” they said.
The event was also attended by National Human Rights Secretary Horacio Pietragalla, together with Buenos Aires legislator Victoria Montenegro, among others.
They commented that "The 133rd grandchild approached the Grandmothers’ organisation spontaneously.”
Miguel "Tano" Santucho and Julio Santucho, the brother and father of the 133rd Grandchild, were in the front row.
How the grandchild was identified
Experts revealed that “he was registered as the son of a member of Security Forces and a nurse on March 24, 1977. Since he was young, he had doubts about his identity. He was raised as an only child by a sister 20 years his senior who confessed to him that he was not the son of those who claimed to be his parents."
With that suspicion, “it took him some time to gather the information to approach the Grandmothers. Once he did, the documentary investigation was carried out, and in April this year a test was conducted at the National Genetic Databank," said the NGO's staff.
“Cristina wanted her child to be found. Nélida, his grandmother, extraordinarily honoured that will and died looking for her daughter and grandson. Today we honour Nélida and all the grandmothers who never lost hope to find their loved ones,” they added.
Miguel "Tano" Santucho, son of Cristina and Julio, was also at the press conference, were highly emotional.
“I feel I’ve found a beautiful, really special person. I have no doubt we’ll be together for the rest of our lives because we looked for each other, we wanted to find each other. And the hug we gave each other will last forever”, he added.
An emotional moment followed when Julio Santucho, the father of the 133rd Grandchild, took the floor.
“I know everything Cristina had to go through and it shows her character,” he said.
To conclude the conference, Estela de Carlotto spoke again talked about the 133rd Grandchild and dedicated a heartfelt phrase to him: “You’re a triumph of Democracy."