Bios of the Madres de la Plaza del Mayo

  Enriqueta Maroni, 75,  has four children, of whom two were "disappeared" in 1977 by the Argentine Junta. Their names are Juan Patricio Maroni, who was 21, and Maria Beatriz Maroni, who was 23 when she was taken. Maria Beatrizs husband Carlos was also disappeared. Juan Patricio studied sociology, and Maria Beatriz was a licensed social worker. Their family was Catholic, and both Juan Patricio and Maria Beatriz were very religious. Gradually, they became involved in a Peronist youth movement, which was critical first of Isabel Peronâs government, and then of the military dictatorship. They were both taken on the same night, the 5th of April, 1977. Juan Patricio's 11-month-old daughter, Paula, was left with Enriqueta and her husband, and they raised her. Enriqueta joined the madres de la plaza in the fall of 1977.  
Aurora  Bellochio, 82,  worked as a dress maker. She had 8 children, one of whom died in infancy. Her fourth child, Irene , and her daughters' husband Rolando Pisoni, were disappeared the 5th of August, 1977. Her daughter was in her third year of studying architecture at the University of Buenos Aires, her husband was in his fourth year of engineering at the same school. The daughter worked at the Banco de Galicia in B.A., where she was a union representative. A year and a half prior to her disappearance, someone went looking for her at the bank where she worked. She managed to escape, and never went back to work and she went into hiding, and subsequently got pregnant. She gave birth to the baby (Carlos)  in a hospital where she had been assured she would be safe by a friend who worked there. 36 days after the birth of her only son, Irene and Rolando were found and taken away from where they had been living in hiding. A neighbor was given the new-born baby carlos and took him to his grandparents, Aurora and her husband. Aurora raised Carlos as a son. After presenting her habeus corpus about her daughters disappearance, Aurora gradually began to run into other mothers of disappeared people, at church and at the court. Because she was working and also had children still to raise, she did not have much time to get involved, but eventually she joined and has become a very active Madre de Plaza de Mayo.
Carmen La Paco , 77. Carmen's daughter  Alejandra was 19 years of age and  studying anthropology at the University of Buenos Aires in the spring of 1997. Her boyfriend was was a history student.  At 11 PM on the  night of March 16th, 1977, Carmen, her nephew, her daughter Alejandra and her boyfriend were  sitting around the table drinking coffee , when a knock came on the door and a group of 9 or 10 armed thugs barged into the house. With the exception of Carmen's mother, they were all taken to the basement of the Club Atletico, where they were tortured for three days. At one point, Carmen encountered her own daughter (whom she identified by her shoes, because she was chained to the ground and could not look up). Her daughter told her that she had returned from being tortured, and that she thought she was going to die. That was the last time that she saw her daughter alive. Carmen says of the experience, those three days, I lived hell. Hell not only for myself, but for what they did to my daughter.  She and her nephew, a law student, were released together after those three days. It was a Saturday. Two days later, on Monday, Carmen did her Habeus Corpus, and she began her fight to find out what had happened to her daughter.
Lydia 'Taty' Almeida. This charismatic, affable and tireless 74 year old woman actually comes from a military family: her brother was a colonel, her father was a colonel. She has three children. Her son Alejandro was 20 years old when he was disappeared in 1975. She says that the perception is that disappearances only happened after the 1976 military coup, but that in fact, under the ˜constitutionalâ government of Isabel Peron  2,000 people were disappeared, and clandestine torture centers were established. . Alejandro, a medical student, left his house to go out on the 7th of June, 1975, and he never returned home. Being anti-Peronista, Taty assumed that it was the Peronist government that had taken her son, and she rejoiced when the military coup happened. Then she realized that the disappearances continued. When the Madres de la Plaza de Mayo formed in 1977, Taty was hesitant about joining, because she assumed that they would think she was a spy, because of her family âs military connections. But after awhile, she did join, and it was "best thing she could have done."  In 1985, she met some of her son âs friends, who told her that they were alive thanks to Alejandro, who had not told their names even when he was tortured. Since then, she has met more of his friends, and she continues to fight. She says, Our struggle is for memory, truth and justice.