During a training session at the World Cup last week, the Argentine national football team paid tribute to the women’s activist organization Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo, who have just been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Members of Abuelas, including its president, Estela de Carlotto, are in South Africa this week to meet with world leaders, including Nelson Mandela.
Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo is dedicated to pursuing justice on behalf of Argentina’s desaparecidos—the activists, many of them students, who were kidnapped, imprisoned and disappeared by Jorge Rafael Videla’s military dictatorship during Argentina’s Dirty War of 1976-1983. The Abuelas are especially committed to identifying children who were born to imprisoned mothers and illegally adopted by families friendly to the right-wing regime. Argentine football legend Diego Maradona, the manager of Argentina’s World Cup team, chose the very visible media platform to express national pride in the Abuelas’ struggle for justice. Tellingly, it received little coverage in Argentina, where one of the country’s biggest media moguls, Ernestina Herrerra de Noble, has been accused of having adopted two stolen children. (NB: some links in Spanish.)