(Never Again) - Report of Conadep
Among the large numbers of adolescent girls who were seized, six were pregnant.
Alicia Elena Alfonsín de Cabandie (file No. 3749) was sixteen years old. She was living in her in-laws' house in Entre Rios, the town of her birth, when she was seized. On 23 November 1977 at 6 p.m. when they returned from shopping, ten armed men dressed in civilian clothes, and carrying weapons, went straight up to her and detained her. The porter saw Alicia being beaten and forced into a truck, which had the sign 'Provisions' on its side. Alicia was seven months pregnant.
Ana María Marti and Sara S. de Osatinsky (file Nos. 4344 and 4442) saw her in the Navy Mechanics School a few days after Christmas 1977. She was being taken to a small room for pregnant women. There she told them that she had been in the secret detention centre known as 'El Banco' with her husband, Damián Cabandie, and that someone who apparently had the rank of colonel had promised that she would be taken somewhere to give birth to her child, after which she would be reunited with her husband and the child, in a 'rehabilitation centre' where she would complete her sentence,
According to the accounts referred to above, Alicia arrived at the Navy Mechanics School from El Banco with her hair almost completely shaved off. She shared a room with other pregnant women, and saw how each of them was separated from their babies after giving birth. However, she still believed that her situation would be different. A few days before giving birth, Alicia had an interview with Major Minicucci, the head of El Banco, who told her that she would be separated from her child. She then referred to her conversation with the 'Colonel', but to no avail.
She returned to the cell distraught, realizing that what had happened to other pregnant women was also going to happen to her.
She gave birth to a son in February or March 1978. The doctor who attended her was Dr Jorge Luis Magnacco. The baby was left with her for a fortnight. A few minutes before they were separated, the assistant warden of the prison asked her if she wanted to send a letter to her family to let them know that she was detained, and to ask them to look after her child.
Alicia wrote the letter and left it with the child. At night the child was taken away by an NCO who was known as Pedro Bolita.
Nobody has heard anything more of Alicia, her husband Damián, or her baby.
The Commission has received depositions on other pregnant adolescents who are still on the list of disappeared prisoners. They are: Laura Beatriz Segarra, eighteen years old, eight months pregnant; Inés Beatriz Ortega de Fossati, who gave birth to a child in Police Station No. 5 of La Plata; Nidia Beatriz Muñoz, eighteen years old, four months pregnant (in addition, according to the accounts of neighbours, a day after Nidia Muñoz was seized an army truck pulled up outside the house, and a group of people proceeded to take away the furniture, clothes and an unknown quantity of items belonging to Nidia and Luis Ramón, her husband); Noemí Josefina Jansenson de Arcuschin, aged eighteen, and three months pregnant.
Nothing is known about the whereabouts of these people or of their children.
Don Pedro Kreplak was a widower, the father of three children. On 9 July 1977 his house was raided in search of his eldest son, Gabriel, although he did not live with his father, who knew nothing about him.
On that day, 9 July, José Ariel was not there either, so the gang took Pedro Kreplak and his youngest son, Ernesto. The father was tortured with electric prods to make him say where José Ariel was. When he said he was in his grandmother's house they went there to look for him. He is still on the list of prisoners who have disappeared. José Ariel Kreplak (file No. 1661) was sixteen years old at the time. His father and brother were taken as hostages, and Pedro Kreplak was tortured to make him denounce Gabriel, his eldest son.
'Your sons are considered subversives,' said Captain Ferrone, 'because they go out to paint graffiti on the walls after strumming on their guitars: Thus ... as the reply Melchor Cáceres received when he went to look for his sons, the twins Amado Nelson and Arnaldo Darío Cáceres, at the Viejo Bueno garrison in the vicinity of Monte Chingolo, Buenos Aires province (file No. 5281). The twins were aged seventeen, both played in a pop group. On 23 February 1978 men dressed civilian clothes with bullet-proof vests on broke into the Ciceres' in house, asking where the twins were. They said they belonged to the 'Army of Monte Chingolo'. They stole everything that belonged to the boys: guitars, amplifiers, microphones, record players, etc.
Arnaldo Darío was stripped at once, I suppose so that the two could be distinguished, A month after the kidnapping, another group came to the house asking after the twins, and', as they were not there because they had been taken already, they seized me.
Melchor Cáceres was held in prison for thirty hours. He is still looking for his twin sons.
María Pabla Cáceres (file No. 1850) was seventeen years old, studied at a secondary school and worked in a metallurgical factory. She was married to Fernando Simonetti.
On 16 February 1976 at 1.30 a.m. a group of armed men came into the house of María Pabla's parents, where the Young couple lived, They were interrogated and beaten, then their hands and feet were tied, they were blindfolded and taken half-naked to an unknown destination. Three days later Fernando was released, after being badly beaten. He said that in the place where they were detained, the prisoners were known by numbers. He was No. B20 and María Pabla was No. 21. Mónica, a detainee who was freed, said that she was with Fernando and María Pabla in the secret detention centre called El Atlético. María Pabla Cáceres de Simonetti is still on the list of prisoners who have disappeared.
Benedicto Víctor Maisano (aged eighteen) (file No. 4810) went to the River Plate football stadium to see the Boca-Union game on the evening of 4 August 1976. While he was at the match, eight civilians came to his house, heavily armed, looking for him. As he was not there they decided to wait.
Benedicto came back very late that night. It was 1.30 a.m. on 5 August 1976. I went out before he reached the door and said: 'The Police are looking for you.'
He decided to enter the house as he had nothing to hide. So he was detained without any kind of resistance. He changed clothes, had something to eat, and when he went out into the street with his kidnappers they noticed that they had left the lights of the Ford Falcon on, and the battery had gone flat.
Between two of them, and my son and me, we pushed the car until it started. Since that moment I have not seen or heard of my son. I tried all the legal means and personal contacts I knew, and I had two meetings with Monsignor Grasselli. At the second meeting the Monsignor depressed me very much when he told me about the way the prisoners were treated. This made me think he knew what was going on.