The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo said the elimination Human Rights Directorate was a “serious setback” for human rights.
Estela de Carlotto, president of human rights organization
Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo. | Photo: Reuters
Renown Argentine human rights group, the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo, is speaking out against efforts by the government of President Mauricio Macri to eliminate as special body tasked with helping identify children stolen during the Argentine dictatorship.
Macri’s minister of national security, Patricia Bullrich, recently released a new organization chart for the ministry but under the new structure the Human Rights Directorate has been dissolved and the Specialized Legal Assistance Group, which was created to identify stolen children through the use of DNA, had been eliminated.
“The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo express our deep concern and denounce the hollowing out Minister Patricia Bullrich is carrying out in sensitive areas of the ministry of national security, dedicated to supporting the human rights policies that the National State had been carrying out,” read a statement but the human rights group.
The statement added that Specialized Legal Assistance Group was created as a result of Friendly Agreement, facilitated by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, between the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo and the Argentine state.
According to the human rights group, the sensitive nature of DNA samples means the process cannot be entrusted to the state security officials, who in the past have interfered with the samples and impacted their ability to identify stolen children.
“The decisions made within the Ministry of Security result in a serious setback in the standards achieved by the National State for investigation and prosecution of crimes against humanity, which make it internationally responsible,” said the group.
The group called for the moves to be reversed and said that if the government failed to do so they would turn to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to denounce the violation of the Friendly Agreement.
The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo is an Argentine human rights organization formed to help reunite children with their families after many were stolen and illegally adopted during the dictatorship, which ruled from 1976 to 1983.