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Nora Cortiñas, 94, a Founder of Argentina’s Mothers of the ‘Disappeared,’ Dies

WorldNora Cortiñas, 94, a Founder of Argentina’s Mothers of the ‘Disappeared,’ Dies

Nora Morales de Cortiñas, a founding member of a group of mothers who searched for their children who were disappeared by Argentina’s military dictatorship in the 1970s and who went on to become a leading global voice for human rights, died Thursday in Morón, Argentina. She was 94.

Ms. Cortiñas, commonly known as Norita, underwent surgery for a hernia on May 17 at Morón Hospital, west of Buenos Aires, and later suffered complications as a result of pre-existing conditions, said Dr. Jacobo Netel, the hospital’s director.

The group the mothers started helped focus international attention on the abuses committed by the military dictatorship and continued pressuring the Argentine government for answers after democracy was restored.

Ms. Cortiñas led a quiet life until her son Carlos Gustavo suddenly disappeared on April 15, 1977. He studied economics at the University of Buenos Aires and was an activist in a left-leaning political group, which made him a target of the right-wing dictatorship that seized control of Argentina in 1976 in a coup.

“He was 24 years old, had a wife and a very small child,” Ms. Cortiñas later recalled in an interview that was published as part of a book in 2000. “He left one cold morning and never came back. He was kidnapped at the train station while on his way to work.”

The dictatorship that led Argentina until 1983 is widely considered among the bloodiest of the U.S.-backed military governments that took over several countries in Latin America in the 1970s and ’80s.


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