María Eugenia Sampallo listened yesterday to the guilty veredict to her "parents", the fascist couple that "adopted" her after being retrieved, 30 years ago, from her real mother who was at a detention center and later went "missing" (was murdered and never found), like her father and 30,000 other Argentines under the US-backed military junta regime.
She was the one who brought them to the tribunals after finding out her real origins. She accused them of kidnapping and asked for the maximum penalty, 25 years. But they have only been sentenced to 8 and 7 years in prision for document falsification and occultation of identity. She thinks the sentence is very lenient.
María Eugenia with the photos of her true parents.
There are maybe thousands of people in Argentina and other South American countries in similar situations. Many may not know it, others maybe have adopted their kidnappers as parents after all. This is the first case of its kind brought to the tribunals.
I really wonder what is in María Eugenia's mind and heart. She must have been torn apart by the discovery of her real origins but she must also have never really liked her "adoptive parents" anyhow. No wonder: having fascist parents is certainly a pain in the ass by definition: they don't want you, they want the project they have for you. I bet this experience has weighted in María Eugenia's soul a lot. She surely had her own reasons to detest them anyhow and the reality was probably just the nail on the coffin of a sad, disciplined childhood.
Whatever the case, she's extremely brave to bring her "parents" to court. Emotionally it must be devastating and surely others never had the courage to do the same thing. But I really think I can understand why and I feel I would have done the same in her case. She must feel such a fundamental injustice: deprived of her real parents and "adopted" by their murderers (or their accomplices, who cares?), extracted from a an uncertain potential of hope and love for life and dumped into the madhouse of the fascists.
In a sense she embodies all her generation: a generation deprived of freedom and hope at birth, a generation who grew under the brutal tyranny of the miltary boots, who knew only that and suddenly, like awakening from a lifelong nightmare, they realized they all had been kidnapped and robbed for the interest of a distant Empire.
Salud compañera María Eugenia. Your example is certainly inspiring.
Sources: Al Jazeera, BBC