Judge calls Carlotto’s grandson as witness
Judge María Romilda Servini de Cubría appears determined to move ahead with the criminal investigation into the appropriation of Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo head Estela Barnes de Carlotto’s newly-found grandson, summoning Guido Carlotto to testify.
Lawyers from the human rights organization had urged the judge to postpone the hearing in order not to affect the long-awaited meeting between Guido and the members of the family who have been waiting for him for 36 years.
Activists from the human rights organization are upset with the way the judge has been handling the case, accusing her of leaking information to the media that could end up being detrimental to the relationship between Barnes de Carlotto and Guido, who as a baby was snatched from the arms of the Grandmothers leader’s daughter Laura Carlotto on June 26, 1977, when she was in captivity in the city of La Plata, Buenos Aires province.
“The summons is at least strange. You cannot summon a person who you don’t know where he or she is living because after she leaked information to the press, my nephew had to leave in order to avoid harassment,” Buenos Aires province Human Rights Secretary Guido “Kibo” Carlotto told the Herald.
“There is no need to rush. We want a human approach,” Estela Barnes de Carlotto’s eldest son also said after Servini de Cubría’s subpoena was revealed.
Sources from the court and from Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo did not reveal when the 36-year-old man is expected to appear in court to give details of the people who raised him in an effort to prevent frenetic press coverage. In general, when a person who was appropriated during the last military dictatorship recovers his or her real identity, judges and Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo do not reveal his or her personal details since they generally agree that “restitution” is a very traumatic situation.
Yesterday at noon, Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo lawyer Alan Iud filed a request before Judge Servini de Cubría, who had just summoned Guido, to postpone the hearing. Sources from the human rights organization explained to the Herald that the judge issued her resolution almost simultaneously with their request, expressing confidence the magistrate would agree to the delay.
The request was also critical of the judge who on Tuesday informed De Carlotto that her grandson had been found.
“Spreading the news ended up negatively affecting the course of events, which is why on behalf of Estela Barnes de Carlotto I requested not to summon Guido Montoya Carlotto to deliver his testimony in order not to affect the reunion with his family,” the writ handed by Iud said.
Estela wants to focus on getting to know her grandson, who was brought up by Juana and Clemente Hurban in a farm in Olavarría, in Buenos Aires province.
On Tuesday noon, Servini de Cubría received a phone call from the National Genetic Database (BNDG) legal team. She was informed that Guido, Barnes de Carlotto’s grandson, had been found at last, a couple of weeks after he approached the Grandmothers’ headquarters with doubts about his identity.
In his writ, Iud harshly criticized the magistrate for revealing in an interview with Radio del Plata station at 4pm, two hours after Estela was informed, the name and where the grandson of the human rights leader lived.
Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo still do not have in their hands Guido’s fake birth certificate, which establishes that he was born on June 2, 1978. In fact, Guido was born 26 days later while his mother Laura was held in a concentration camp and six months after his father, Wilmar Oscar Montoya, was executed and buried in an unidentified grave in the Berazategui cemetery.
First, Servini de Cubría will have to obtain that certificate to elucidate who was the medical doctor who signed it, which could help to identify the repressors involved in the appropriation. It is still unclear where Laura Carlotto gave birth to her baby: in the Buenos Aires City Central Military hospital or at the Olmos Penitentiary hospital, located next to the clandestine detention centre where the 23-year-old woman was held.
The judge will have to determine who was the man that gave the baby to the people who raised him. It was reported that Carlos Francisco “Pancho” Aguilar — who died in March — was reportedly the person who gave the baby to Juana and Clemente Hurban, who worked as a farmhand for him. After collecting that information, the judge will have to summon both of to explain why they registered Guido as their own child.