January 18, 2018

Judge Servini de Cubría talks to The Herald

Thursday, August 7, 2014

‘Someone must have given the baby to those who ended up raising him’

Judge María Romilda Servini de Cubría was the person who on Tuesday phoned Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo Estela Barnes de Carlotto to inform her that her grandson Guido had been found. In conversation with the Herald, the federal judge recalled the experience.

Why did you phone Estela?

On Tuesday at noon, I received a phone call from two members of the National Genetic Database (BNDG) legal team and they said they had important news. They told me that they had found Guido after analyzing the samples of the Carlotto and Montoya families. I was shocked. I grabbed the telephone and I said: “Estela, I need to talk to you.”

Did you not have any information earlier?

No, that day I had ordered a raid at the Argentine Soccer Association (AFA). You can imagine that I would not have mixed up these two things...

How did the investigation unfold?

I didn’t know that Guido had visited the National Commission for the Right to Identity (CONADI). The BNDG officials told me and I thought: “I cannot keep this information to myself.” I phoned Estela and she came to my office. She came alone, which surprised me. Maybe she had a feeling. When she arrived here we told her that a grandchild had been found. She was happy, like she always is when a grandchild appears. Then I told her it was hers and she could not believe it. It was a pang of emotion.

It must have been moving for you since you have known Estela for a long time...

Yes! I have always told her “I am going to find your grandson.” A few months ago, I met her and reiterated my promise.

Have you contacted Guido?

I was about to summon him, but Estela’s daughter (CONADI head Claudia Carlotto) wanted to phone him and I thought it was a good idea. She’s Guido’s aunt.

How many children’s identities have you restored?

Including Guido, 13.

What’s going to be the next step in the criminal investigation?

I have to summon Guido and then find out where he lived. There must have been a person who gave the baby to the people who raised him. If they didn’t do anything, nothing will happen to them but we must investigate.

Don’t you think that revealing Guido’s current name is a problem?

No. I was about to phone Guido. It was leaked that he was a musician from the city of Olavarría. In a small town, everyone knows their neighbours and sometimes media have more information than we do. He is a grown man. He is 36-years-old and was brave enough to approach Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo and the CONADI, with his doubts. He has to be brave enough to listen and take this on board. Perhaps he shouldn’t have received the information via phone — I usually give this information face-to-face. I didn’t leak any information. In fact, Estela said that she was in my office when the president phoned her. The information was out there.


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