Guido Montoya, his grandmother Estela de Carlotto, and the president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, meet at Carondelet Palace in Quito. This is the first trip abroad together for the grandmother and grandson, who are touring South America to raise awareness of the ongoing need to locate the hundreds of missing grandchildren still unaccounted for since the last Argentine dictatorship. Guido first came to light this past summer, after a DNA test identified him as Estela’s long-lost grandson. And while she was in Quito, Estela, who would know from dictatorships, had some choice words for the right-wing opposition and media who insist on calling the democratically-elected Ecuadorable One a “dictator”:
Estela de Carlotto, president of the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo, was received along with her grandson on Tuesday by the president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, and pointed out the democratic character of the left-wing leader’s government.
“The word ‘dictatorship’ must be erased from the dictionary as long as there exists a president and authorities elected by popular mandate, whether we like it or not,” said Carlotto, when asked by journalists whether there was a “dictatorship” in Ecuador, or “totalitarianism”, of which the opposition speaks.
“In Argentina, the media monopolies are still criticizing the media laws, the same media monopolies who put rocks in the road. Those are bad people, they’re the ones who say that what our president does is dictatorship. the word dictatorship is uprooted from the language of the Argentines, and we hope it will be forever. I was born in 1930, was born in a dictatorship, grew up in a dictatorship, and I want strong democracies to be born for the children, to be of benefit to those who have the least,” said the emblematic Argentine woman.
The declarations came after the Ecuadorian president received Estela de Carlotto and her grandson, Guido Montoya, at the government palace. Montoya recovered his identity 37 years after his disappearance during the Argentine dictatorship. Both are in Quito and other touristic cities for a week, according to the Ecuadorian foreign ministry. It is Estela de Carlotto’s first international trip along with her grandson, who was identified last August.
During her visit to the government palace, Estela de Carlotto presented President Correa with a T-shirt bearing the legend: “We are all Guido, 37 years x identity.”
Guido, “Grandchild 114” of those who recovered their identities, is the son of Laura Carlotto, who was kidnapped when she was three months pregnant, and later killed by the Argentine dictatorship. His father is Oscar Montoya, also killed, and buried in a common grave until his remains were identified.
“When President Rafael Correa realized that this woman had found her grandson, as did the people of Argentina, he didn’t hesitate to invite us. I won’t abandon this struggle as long as I’m alive, because there are still grandchildren to be found. In Ecuador we found a commitment to memory, truth and justice,” Guido Montoya said.
The grandson of the president of the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo turned up voluntarily to have his DNA tested because he had doubts about his identity. He was torn from his mother’s arms five hours after his birth in June 1978, and was registered under the name of Ignacio Hurbán as the son of a farming couple.
Guido said that he was very pleased with the invitation and with the show of solidarity with the more than 400 still-missing grandchildren.
Estela de Carlotto praised the Latin American unity expressed in organizations such as the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR). “The found grandchildren, the grandmothers, all of us are striving for Latin American unity. We rejoice in being in countries which recently began their journey toward the truth. Don’t slack off, don’t let your arms fall,” she concluded.
So there you have it. A dictatorship? In Ecuador? Try and find it!
But then again, for the fascists of the world, the irony is that they can never accept democracy, as long as it keeps electing popular, progressive leaders. Which is why, in so many countries (including those of South America), they keep trying to stage coups d’état against leaders they call “dictators”. Fortunately, they are failing badly at that — and the reason is simple. The people, not being stupid, can see right through that rhetoric, down to its ironic bone.