Returning The Stolen
32 years after Argentina's military dictatorship, a heartbreaking legacy emerges. Hundreds are discovering that their 'parents' are impostors, responsible for the kidnap and murder of their real parents.
When thousands of political opponents disappeared in the 1970s, relatives were left distraught. "We only want to know where our children are!" - a woman cries in a crowded street rally where sobbing women hold up pictures of the disappeared. Around 5000 were taken to 'ESMA' - a secret prison where torture and murder were common crimes. Yet it' s only recently that the theft of children and babies of pregnant captives has come to light: "We never imagined this was a systematic plan, executed in a perverse manner", says Estella of the 'Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo'. They work to recover 'lost children' like Huan, who thinks the man who raised him beat him because "every time he looked at me he would revisit the horror of his crime". He now fights for DNA testing to become compulsory. The children of wealthy media magnate Ernestina Herrera de Noble, may not wish to take part in the inquiry, but "the justice system is obliged to solve the crime". And for the lucky ones who still have relatives alive, reunion after 32 years is the most powerful revelation of an unbreakable bond: "it was almost the most beautiful feeling I've ever had in my life".