Restitution - December 5th, 2014

The son of Ana Rubel and Hugo Castro recovers his identity

  • Source: Abuelas
  • Translator: Cinthia de la Fuente

Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo joyfully informs that we have found the son of Ana Rubel and Hugo Alberto Castro. Ana was kidnapped on January, 1977; she was 2 months pregnant and gave birth five months later during her captivity at the ESMA.

Press conference on the restitution of grandson #116
Photograph: Rolando Andrade

The parents

Ana was born on the 27th of July 1949, in Resistencia, Chaco. Her family called her "Ani". Hugo was born in San Isidro, province of Buenos Aires, on September the 1st, 1951. Both of them were part of the FAL (Argentine Liberation Front), Ana studied Economics and worked in "Bagó Laboratories", while Hugo was a master builder and studied to become an architect.

Hugo was kidnapped on January the 5th 1977, in the street, while he was driving his car. Two or three days after, the Army arrested Ana while she was at her home in the Villa Crespo neighborhood in Capital Federal. The couple remained arrested in one of the illegal detention centers that belonged to the Army, until she was transferred to the ESMA Navy School of Mechanics. In the nursery, that was located in the basement, Ana gave birth to his child who was born two months premature, he weighed less than two kilos. Sara Solarz Osatinsky and Alicia Milia, both survivors, witnessed the birth, which was assisted by a medical doctor of the ESMA. The child was separated from his mother and abducted. Ana and Hugo are still missing.

The searches

Castro's family looked for Hugo, her wife and also the child from the first moment. They knew that she was expecting a baby with her new couple who they didn't' know. Their first complaint was filed in 1984. The Rubel family just looked for Ana because they didn't know she was pregnant and that she was dating Hugo Castro.

On January 18th, 1977 the Rubel family received a telegram informing them that they had to travel to Buenos Aires because their daughter was very ill, on the same day they left Resistencia. When they arrived in Buenos Aires they didn't find Anna, however, the found that her apartment had been violated and that the place was messed up. Like other missing people's families, they filed several complaints before different public entities, the also filed a habeas corpus before several tribunals but with no results. The Rubel family had already suffered state's terrorism since Ana's brother: Oscar Rubel, was murdered in 1974.

The bond between Ana and Hugo was confirmed thirty years later, thanks to the investigation conducted by the National Commission for the right of Identity (CONADI) and ESMA survivors' statements. Not until that time, it was confirmed that the woman mentioned in the complaints as "Ana de Castro" was Ana Rubel de Castro.

Once they knew about this, Perla Rubel, Ana's sister, contacted her cousin Delia Susana Horowitz, who was the last person who saw Ana before being kidnapped. Delia ratified that on that day, February 17th of 1977, Ana told her that she was pregnant.

Ana's parents were deceased by then, so at Abuelas' request, the bodies were exhumed in order to obtain genetic material to be incorporated to the National DNA Data Bank (BNDG). Consequently, in 2008 the genetic profile of the Castro Rubel family group could be completed.

Grandchild 116

Ana Rubel and Hugo Castro's son discovered in August of that same year that he wasn't the son of those who pretended to be their parents. In the beginning they denied that information, but finally the man who raised him - a medical doctor- confessed him that one day while he was on duty at Pedro Elizalde Hospital, two men arrived holding a premature baby, and as no one claimed him, he kept him. The child was registered as his own son and that is why until three months ago he didn't doubt of his identity.

The young man went to Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo on May 16th, willing to start looking for his origins. He was received by members of the commission of voluntary presentation of Abuela's organization, who immediately requested CONADI to do a DNA test.

Yesterday, BNDG shared the results and the young man welcomed the good news calmly and happily. He talked with his uncles by phone and personally met Alicia Milia, her mother's captivity partner, the one who watched her mother giving birth.

Once again we celebrate our new grandchild's freedom; he was brave enough to discover his truth. We encourage all of those who can give information about men and women who are in a similar situation. We hope with all our hearts that his decision encourages others to come to Abuelas, and to meet their families who are looking for them since 1977.