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Claims of stolen babies: DNA tests for adopted heirs of Argentine media group

Friday, June 3rd 2011 - 23:37 UTC
Full article 49 comments
Ernestina Herrera de Noble, head of the influential Clarin group Ernestina Herrera de Noble, head of the influential Clarin group

An Argentine court ruled this week that the adopted children of one of the country’s largest media group must submit to DNA tests to determine if they were stolen as babies during Argentina's military dictatorship.

Lawyers for the adoptee said it was unconstitutional to order them to submit to the tests against their will. Human rights groups, meanwhile, were angered the judges limited the scope of the search and vowed to appeal that part of the ruling.

Argentina’s top criminal appellate court said Marcela and Felipe Noble Herrera must submit “blood, saliva, skin, hair or other biological samples ... with or without their consent” for analysis in the National Genetics Databank, which has collected thousands of DNA samples from relatives of people who were killed or “disappeared” during the 1976-83 junta.

Hundreds of these families have some reason to believe a baby could have been taken from a female relative who was taken away by security forces as an enemy of the (1976/1983) dictatorship and never seen again.

The court added a limit to the tests. It said the DNA of the Noble Herrera children can be compared only against families of people known to have disappeared before the dates on their 1976 adoption papers.

Human rights activists complained that the time limit could thwart efforts to reveal the adoptee' true identities.

The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo said the adoption paperwork has been determined by a judge to be fraudulent, so the DNA should be compared against the entire database for all the years of the dictatorship

The group has tried in court for more than ten years to determine if Marcela and Felipe Noble Herrera were taken from women in clandestine torture centres in the early days of the dictatorship and illegally adopted by Ernestina Herrera de Noble, who owns the influential Grupo Clarin media conglomerate.

The Grandmothers have succeeded in recovering the identities of 104 such adoptee so far, and believe about 400 others were stolen as babies. The illegal adoption of any person whose DNA matches the families of the Junta's victims is considered a crime against humanity under Argentine law.

Marcela and Felipe Noble Herrera adoptee, now in their 30 have fiercely defended their adoptive mother and say they have no desire to know their birth families.

Argentina's Supreme Court ruled in 2009 against the forced extraction of blood from such adoptee, but said DNA evidence can still be obtained against their will by searching their homes for clothing and other personal objects.

The government of President Cristina Fernandez and of her deceased husband and former president Nestor Kirchner, after an initial ‘honeymoon’ is at loggerheads with the Clarin group and has tried by all means to prune their influence forcing them under controversial legislation to split the group divesting from broadcasting and television stations and cable.

The conflict is now in the courts. The Kirchner administrations accuse the Clarin group to have played to the tune of the military dictatorship silencing information and taking economic advantage of such an attitude which was rewarded with ‘monopolistic privileges” that subsist.

Categories: Politics, Argentina.

Top Comments

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  • briton

    Congratulations mercopress,
    Another chance for the bloggers to get at each other’s throat,
    The conflict is now in the courts. The Kirchner administrations accuse the Clarin group to have played to the tune of the military dictatorship.
    If justice is served, then justice will be done, and time will then move on.

    Jun 03rd, 2011 - 11:47 pm 0
  • xbarilox

    @ 1 briton, don't get confused, don't think that because I believe that the islands belong to the people living there my comments mean something lol, no, no one is getting at each other's throat, sorry to burst your bubble. I know that to my countrymen my comments mean nothing, so don't feel like you're winning something or that my comments are offensive to them lol, they answer me just because they want to not because my comments are important :) and sadly this is just a website, nothing important will happen in here, in real life, I'm afraid that finally the islands will be back in the hands of Argentina, if you walk away from your xenophobia you'll see that these governments of South America are finally conquering a place which historically only was occupied by countries like the UK and the USA. The fact that I don't like this government means nothing, nobody really cares what we say in these forums :) so shhhh and stop masturbating at the idea that you win something :) you are a loser too :) and if you want to know, my real feeling about the people living on the islands is only one, I hope they all die victims of a Tsunami or an earthquake, which makes me sick is this stupid discussion posting links posting more links and more links, which mean nothing. Do you understand now? If those stupid islands disappear and those people disappear there will be no problem anymore :) Like I told you, if you take a look at what these governments are achieving you'll see that one day those islands will be controlled by the Argentine government, and unfortunately, this will happen soonner than expected. Good luck, because even if I think that's disgusting, I will visit the islands just to poop there on your graves :)

    Jun 04th, 2011 - 01:52 am 0
  • Redhoyt

    So disappear then ExBrain! I thought Argentina was good at making things disappear - facts, people, honour, etc!

    The islander's will be enjoying their land long after Argentina has imploded :-)

    As for the article, I didn't know that people could be compelled to give DNA samples if they hadn't been convicted of some crime.

    Jun 04th, 2011 - 05:41 am 0
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