Inverview with marcela brizuela de ledoSaturday, May 17, 2014
‘How can a man who caused these terrible things lead the Army?’
Marcela Brizuela de Ledo is 83 years old and she has devoted the last 38 years searching for her son, conscript Alberto Agapito Ledo, who was disappeared in 1976 in Tucumán province while he was under César Milani’s supervision.
The woman was one of the heads of the Association of Mothers of Plaza de Mayo — aligned with Hebe de Bonafini — in La Rioja province. She took her claim to several human rights organizations, including the Organization of American States. Now she wants to know what role the head of the Army played in her son’s ordeal.
“I have been trying to find my son for 38 years — now I need help,” Brizuela de Ledo said in a phone conversation with the Herald.
What was your reaction when you learned that Milani was designated as head of the Army?
I felt sorrow and frustration. What happened cannot be forgiven. How can a man who caused these terrible things in La Rioja province be the head of the Army?
How did you identify him as one of the officers involved in your son’s disappearance?
We have documents. New witnesses have provided documents. We are not lying. His name is mentioned in La Rioja’s Never Again. My son’s comrades point to him as do retired military officers who contacted me to give me details of his role during the dictatorship.
What was your opinion of the Kirchnerite government before Milani was appointed?
I found it encouraging when Néstor Kirchner took office and he said he was going to send to prison all those who were responsible. He once came here, to La Rioja, and I had a meeting with him to tell him about my son’s disappearance. My daughter also held another meeting for the same reason.
And what about President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner?
A surprise. She designated a repressor. For me, Milani represents the same as (late dictator Jorge Rafael) Videla.
How did you react to the the Association of Mothers of Plaza de Mayo magazine’s front page that had a photograph of Milani alongside Hebe de Bonafini?
That was strange. I’ve always defended the organization but I’ve always been loyal to my commitment to search for my son. We have been walking for 30 years hand-in-hand with Hebe. It was terribly painful to learn that she had met Milani. Since then I have not received the Association’s magazine that I used to help sell in La Rioja.
Do you feel supported by other human rights organizations?
Yes. A while back, we felt kind of alone.
Last year, it was reported that the prosecutor investigating Milani’s case in La Rioja suffered threats. Is that true?
Several people have been pressured. Milani has a political support that we don’t have — but we have the truth.
What’s your opinion of the ongoing investigation in Tucumán province?
It must be accelerated. This repressor (Milani) has to be questioned in court. I’m sure they took my son to Tucumán to disappear him.