My son was arrested in the street, together with his girl-friend, María del Socorro Alonso, in the early hours of the morning of 10 or 11 August 1976 while painting a slogan in support of solidarity with a political prisoners' committee. He had never been a member of any political party. After searching for him intensively, we located him and María Alonso in the Central Federal Police Headquarters on 1 September 1976. From there they were transferred to Unit No. 2 of Villa Devoto Prison and held at the disposition of the National Executive under Decree No. 1843/76. Señorita Alonso remained there but my son was transferred to Unit 9 of La Plata prison, Buenos Aires province, at the beginning of October. We began the formalities for my son's right of option to leave the country, since this seemed the only way for him to get out of prison. On 11 November 1976 his girlfriend was released 'on probation' which led us to believe that the reason for their detention had not been serious. It renewed hope for our son's release. His girlfriend visited us every day for news of him. On 28 January 1978 the newspapers published his name on a list of persons to be released. Seventeen months had passed since his arrest, but he had never been charged. We went immediately to the prison for information as to the date and time of his release, only to be told that 'the prison has not yet received notification'. We were to wait until this was received. We got the same answer on the ensuing days including 1 February, when we paid our regulation weekly visit to our son. He was in good spirits and we were all awaiting the good news.
To our surprise, two days later we learned that our son was no longer in that prison. Several officers informed us in a rather confused and contradictory manner that at midnight on 2 February 1978 'he had been released with some other prisoners' whose names were Miguel Alejandro Domínguez, Gonzalo Abel Carranza, and a third named Gallardo, none of whom have been seen since. Unofficial accounts from people living near the prison who were afraid to give their names, said that several prisoners, my son among them, were forced into a vehicle that night. They shouted for help. The vehicle in question was in the prison security zone and the shouts were heard from there. When we made inquiries in the prison we found no signature authorizing my son's release in the prison's entry and exit book. The prison's deputy director told us that the released prisoners had been accompanied along the three blocks from the prison to Calle 7 by officers of the Provincial Prison Service. The statements (Case No. 42.817 Criminal Court of La Plata, Buenos Aires province, under judge Dr Horacio Piombo, Secretariat No. 15, filed under No. 953) of the prison officers involved in my son's supposed release declared that the prisoners released that night were set free outside the prison gates. The prison has powerful floodlights and the guards could see for about ten blocks all around. Despite this, our repeated inquiries have failed to elicit any information about our