In August 1976, a group of armed men in Buenos Aires abducted María Claudia García Iruretagoyena – daughter in law of the Argentine poet, Juan Gelman – and her husband. María Claudia was seven months pregnant when she was taken against her will to Montevideo, where she gave birth and subsequently went missing.
María Claudia’s abduction occurred during Operation Condor, a cooperation agreement created in the mid-seventies between the dictatorships in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay to eliminate political dissidents. This case marked the first time the Inter-American Court addressed the situation of impunity for serious human rights violations committed in Uruguay during this time.
This case has strengthened the development of democracy in Uruguay, sparking discussions about truth and justice. Additionally, it has contributed in a decisive manner to the initiation of legal action in various cases of enforced disappearances and other human rights violations. By promoting effective access to archived documents, the case has also helped break the silence in order to advance knowledge on the State’s use of counter-insurgent operations.