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Part II
The Victims

Nunca Más (Never Again) - Report of Conadep  - 1984


The youngest

These were Uruguayans who had lived in our country for some time. Their father, Nelson, had been arrested and was being held at the disposition of the National Executive. The mother, Lourdes, was seized in the street by a group of armed men in civilian clothes. The four children of the Hernández Hobbas family were left with the only friends they had in the country. Beatriz Hernández Hobbas (aged sixteen), the elder of the two, was seized at a café in Munro. She was taken alive, but nothing more has been heard of her. Washington Fernando Hernández Hobbas (file No. 6263), aged thirteen, was left with another family after the arrest of his mother and his elder sister. His new home was also raided by the police on 6 July 1977.

It was like a kindergarten, as there were eight children belonging to three families who had suffered the same fate as Washington Fernando Hernández Hobbas, all of them under the age of thirteen. Three women were looking after them. At about 3 p.m. a group of men dressed in civilian clothes and heavily armed broke into the house, and after inspecting everything, seized the three women and Washington Fernando who looked as if he was the oldest (file No. 768).

Washington Fernando was seen on two occasions after this: in both he was being used as a decoy to capture other people. He was used to point out possible houses where his father may have met friends or where friends would come and collect him, setting them an ambush. Until now there has been no news about his whereabouts, and he is still listed as a disappeared prisoner.

Mónica Graciela Santucho (file No. 1596) was fourteen years old when she was kidnapped. On 3 December 1976 at approximately 5.30 p.m. shots were exchanged with the Army from a house situated on Calles 138B and 526 of Melchor Romero in La Plata. Mónica Graciela went out into the street with two other children, calling for the shooting to stop. She was seized at once, blindfolded and put into a white Fiat 600 that was driven by heavily armed civilians. Later, witnesses who were freed from prison said they saw her in the secret detention centre known as Arana. She is still on the disappeared list.

The Avellaneda farnily was living in the Munro neighbour-hood. On 15 April 1976 their house was raided. The intruders were looking for the head of the family. As he was not at home, they decided to take his wife and son, Floreal Edgardo Avellaneda (file No. 1639) who was then fourteen years old, as hostages. They made them get dressed and leave the house.

They pushed me into the street with my son. I was holding his hand. At one point they told us to put our hands on the roof of the car. It was the last time I saw him, looking at me as they put a blindfold over my eyes.

According to the mother's testimony in the courts, both of them were forced to get into the car blindfolded.

'My son squeezed my hand as if to give me courage. We remained in silence.'

For a long time they were held prisoner at the Villa Martelli Police Station, where they were tortured.

'For a long time I heard the noise of music and my son's screams. Then, once again, there was a fearful silence.'

Floreal was killed. It is still not known how or when. It was through a press report entitled 'Corpses in Uruguay' that the family learnt of his death. One of the bodies found in the River Plate near the Uruguayan shore was that of Floreal Edgardo Avellaneda. The photographs taken by the police are enough to make one's hair stand on end.

'My son was shown with his hands and legs tied, the back of his head shot away, and with signs of having suffered appalling tortures.'.




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