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Guido Carlotto reportedly in good spirits

A picture shows the Hermanos Rossi musical school in Olavarría.
Olavarría residents shocked by news that local musician is dictatorship victim

The city of Olavarría woke up with a hangover yesterday, recovering from the shock and emotion of a day earlier, when the small city in Buenos Aires province suddenly took centre stage in headlines across the country as the home of Estela Barnes de Carlotto’s grandson.

With the news that Guido Carlotto was a musician in his thirties, Luis María de Olaso, the director of the local conservatory, couldn’t believe it — he must have known him.

“I was listening to the radio in order to hear some news regarding the teacher’s strike when the discovery was first broadcast. I started looking for more information on the web and, when I saw that it was a 36-years-old musician living in Olavarría I immediately started getting phone calls,” De Olaso told the Herald. “The pieces started falling into place and It was a huge shock.” De Olaso immediately tried to sympathize with Guido’s plight.

“It can’t be easy meeting with one’s identity, so suddenly and noisily ... I spoke with him yesterday morning, he called to let us know that he wouldn’t be attending the conservatory for his classes. I asked him how he was doing and felt he was doing OK,” said De Olaso regarding his latest chat with Guido Montoya Carlotto, known as Ignacio Hurban until his life was turned upside-down on Tuesday, when it was announced that he was the 114th recovered grandchild.

“I told him about the joy we all felt at this important event and expressed our full support,” De Olaso added.

Guido spent most of his life in Olavarría, a city with some 111,000 people, located near the geographical centre of Buenos Aires province. Guido reportedly grew up in a farm owned by Francisco Aguilar where his adoptive father — named Clemente Hurban — worked as a farmhand. As an only child, he spent much time reading by himself, taking advantage of the house’s library.

Guido did not have a long-held plan to approach the Grandmother of Plaza de Mayo. In fact, he does not seem to be one of those restituted grandchildren who suspected something for years.

“It wasn’t that long ago that he started suspecting he might be adopted,” De Olaso said. “I think that the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo’s ad campaign for the World Cup had something to do with it — that could have been one of the factors that lead him to take the test.”

And it was not a decision he shared with most of the people he knew, De Olaso said.

Many were quick to describe Guido as an intellectual who was eager to help his friends.

“(Guido) is a great musician, a truly talented guy. And he is also an excellent person, very given to working alongside colleagues and students,” fellow musician and colleague at the conservatory Marcelo Chiodi told the Herald. “He has a very close relationship with his students and he is really cherished within the institution.”

Yet his life did not just revolve around music.

“He is a die-hard River fan. I remember that, when River won the championship, he used to give his classes with the team’s jersey,” Chiodi said. “We teased him a lot for that.”

Home again

Before moving to Buenos Aires in order to pursue a musical career by studying at Avellaneda’s Municipal Musical Institute, Guido graduated from an industrial high school in Olavarría, obtaining a master builder degree. Once back in his hometown, he furthered his studies at the local conservatory, where he now teaches.

According to local media, Guido still lives in Olavarría — more precisely at Loma Negra locality — with his girlfriend, fashion designer Celeste Madueña, who works at a retail clothing shop in Olavarría.

“They aren’t in Olavarría, but I hope they get back soon because I need her in the shop,” Madueña’s business partner, Paola di Geronimo, told daily Clarín before bursting out into laughter.

Now that his real identity has been revealed, many who have known him his whole life suddenly started adding two and two together.

“He doesn’t look like (his adoptive parents) Juana and Clemente. He has a long face, I suppose he looks like the photo of Laura (Carlotto) that was shown on TV,” a neighbour of Loma Negra told daily La Nación.

The small city of Olavarría, now invaded by TV cameras, is calmly waiting for the return of its now most-famous resident.

Herald staff

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Director: Orlando Mario Vignatti - Edition No. 4347 - This publication is a property of NEFIR S.A. -RNPI Nº 5177376 - Issn 1852 - 9224 - Te. 4349-1500 - San Juan 141 , (C1063ACY) CABA