Estela Barnes de Carlotto is an Argentinian human rights activist and president of the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo. One of her daughters, Laura Estela Carlotto, was abducted while pregnant in Buenos Aires at the end of 1977. The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo association was founded that same year, with the aim of recovering children kidnapped during the dictatorship, some of whom were born to abducted mothers. The Grandmothers seek both their grandchildren and their own children. They estimate that around 500 kidnapped grandchildren have been illegally adopted into other families.
This interview highlights the human cost of forced disappearance for the families left behind, who know neither the fate nor the whereabouts of their loved ones. Drawing on her vast experience of leading and advocating for these families, Estela gives us valuable insight into the role that relatives can play in developing mechanisms to trace missing people.