by Argentina junta as a baby, musician back with family
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[August 11, 2014]
By Hugh Bronstein
BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Years of
nagging doubt over his identity were crystalized on his June 2
birthday, pushing 36-year-old Argentine musician Ignacio Hurban to
take a DNA test that identified him as a victim of the country's
Born in 1978 to an imprisoned mother who was soon after
executed by the military government that ruled Argentina from
1976 to 1983, Hurban has come to symbolize the struggle of
families torn apart by the dictatorship.
The junta ordered that hundreds of children of assassinated
leftists be adopted by other families. One of those children was
Hurban, grandson of Estela de Carlotto, president of Abuelas de
Plaza de Mayo, a rights group that works to reunite families.
On Friday, less than three weeks after volunteering a blood
sample by way of the Abuelas organization to check his DNA,
Hurban and his grandmother held a press conference to celebrate
"Poetically, it was on my birthday, June 2, that something
happened through chance and circumstance that heightened my
doubts," Hurban told reporters, declining to provide details for
"From there, everything unfolded very quickly," said the graying
piano player in a black t-shirt and leather jacket, looking
happy next to his beaming grandmother. "Eighteen days ago they
took a blood sample and as of two days ago I have known who I
De Carlotto's long involvement with Abuelas was driven by
anguish over her daughter's murder and desire to meet her lost
grandson. She learned about his birth from a former prison mate
of her daughter.
De Carlotto spoke earlier this week of her "enormous joy" upon
learning that Hurban had taken the initiative. "It was he who
looked for me," she said.
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Hurban said he felt "butterflies of doubt" about his origins in 2010
when he played in a concert for the very Abuelas organization that
would end up identifying him.
Hurban, one of de Carlotto's 14 grandchildren, is the 114th kidnap
victim to be reunited by DNA testing sponsored by the group.
His mother, Laura Carlotto, was murdered two months after giving
birth to her son in a makeshift government jail. She intended to
name her son after her brother Guido.
Reporters were not sure whether to call him Guido or Ignacio during
the press conference, but Hurban said he is keeping the name he grew
"I'm more comfortable with 'Ignacio'. I'm used to it and I'm going
to keep using it," he said.
Hurban encouraged other Argentines who are unsure of their parentage
to get their DNA tested. "If you have the slightest doubt you won't
lose anything by stepping forward," he said.
"You have to do it," Hurban added. "It's important to close the old
wounds ... What's happening to me is magical."
About 30,000 Argentines were murdered during military rule.
(Additional reporting by Nicolas Misculin; editing by Andrew Hay)
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