DNA tests will be taken ‘with or without consent’ to prove the provenance of the Clarín children, whilst Falklands veterans make headway with official recognition.
A court order has ordered that the two children of Ernestina Herrera de Noble – the owner of Argentina’s biggest media group Clariń – be submitted to DNA testing to shed light on a long running dispute over their adoption in 1976 during the last military dictatorship.
The question over the provenance of Marcela and Felipe Noble Herrera has remained unresolved since the detainment of their mother in 2002 following a lawsuit filed by the Grandmothers of Plaza del Mayo that alleged that the children are two of the nearly five-hundred infants stolen from imprisoned dissidents during the Dirty War.
The case has remained shut since 2008, when Herrera de Noble refused to give a DNA sample.
The verdict this week however, has ruled that the pair be submitted to ‘direct extraction– with or without consent – of minimum samples of DNA from blood, saliva, skin, hair or another biological sample’.
If samples are taken, the profiles will be compared with genetic information stored in the Banco Nacional de Datos Genéticos (National Genetic Information Bank - BNDG) that relates to persons disappeared before 13 May 1976 in the case of Marcela, and 7 July 1976 in that of Felipe.
The dates correspond to the days that the children came into Herrera de Noble’s care. The mother’s story goes that one child was discovered in a basket on her door-step, whilst Felipe’s mother – Carmen Luisa Delta – reputedly offered the child up for adoption.
In other news, after over 3 years of protest camped in the central Plaza del Mayo and roadblock across the capital’s widest thorough-fare, the 9 de Julio, ex-combatants of the Falklands War that fought in the South Atlantic theatre outside of the islands have entered into talks with the government to contest their recognition as veterans.
In a pulsamerica interview with one of the veterans last month, Eduardo Ochoa explained that the case of the soldiers ‘goes beyond claiming the benefits due as veterans of the war’, explaining that ‘the fight is against historical denial, the hiding of the truth that happened during the conflict that would change our national history’.
The argument of men such as Ochoa is that the state extend their recognition of the Falklands War to encompass all the bellicose action that took place in the south Atlantic during the 1982-83 against Great Britain.
At two o’clock on Tuesday delegates met with the sub-secretary for political matters at the Interior Ministry, Norberto García, agreeing that a dialogue would be opened. ‘Today the State has begun to remember us’ remarked one of the veterans.
Finally, coinciding with World No Tobacco Day on Wednesday, Argentina’s congress have banned smoking in public places.
Argentina has been slow to address smoking culture – despite signing the World Health Organisation’s ‘Framework Convention on Tobacco Control’ in 2003. The new law will seek spaces 100% free of smoke, restrict advertising by the tobacco industry, add warning signs to cigarette packets and ban the sale of ‘light’ brands.
Smoking is the country’s biggest cause of avoidable deaths, with around 110 people dying daily of tobacco related diseases.