In a communication of March 8, l982, the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights received the following complaint:
Ana Maráa was kidnapped last February 4 at 8:30 p.m. A
Ford Falcon car drove up to her house, Villa de Mayo,
intersecting with General Sarmiento, and an armed man got out
and forced her into the car. The victim tried to resist and
shouted the name of a neighbor. Several neighbors witnessed the
act and arrived on the scene to write down the license plate
number. The same automobile had been seen the previous day near
Ana Maráa's home.
On Friday, February 12, after reading in that afternoon's
issue of the La Crúnica that the corpse of a woman
killed by gunshot had been found in the northern zone of greater
Buenos Aires, we went to the police station in search of
information. The police entered into the case, in the company
of the kidnapped woman's relatives. We were struck by the
similarity of data regarding the murdered woman and Ana Maráa,
sex, age--about thirty years--and pregnant.
In the first place, we were informed that the body when
discovered was unrecognizable; also, it had been ordered that
the woman's hands be cut off to identify her through a
papiloscopic analysis. Our attention was drawn to the fact
that, invoking health reasons, the burial of the victim had been
ordered and carried out that very day. But at the same time,
we were given several pieces of information on the corpse that
seemed to do away with the possibility that it was that of Ana
Maráa: height l.75 meters and clothing: slacks or culottes and
polo shirt, both in such a condition that it was impossible to
describe their characteristics.
On Wednesday the l7th, the parents of Ana Maráa's boyfriend
were called upon in their home by persons bearing long weapons,
and they remained in two police stations giving statements for
ten hours. We were able to talk to them at nightfall. We then
knew that they had been shown a wedding ring and two other rings
that the corpse was wearing and they were also told that it was
wearing a yellow tank top and a blue denim skirt.
It is obvious that had we been given that information on
the l2th, the relatives who accompanied us on our visit to the
police station would not have hesitated in recognizing those
rings and that clothing as belonging to Ana Maráa. The serious
question here would thus have been clarified immediately.
The data thus described poses a serious question as to the
possibility that the authorities knew, at least several days
beforehand, of the circumstances that were publicized only
yesterday. It is a question, of course, that embraces the
statements made by the Under Secretary of the Ministry of the
Interior, Colonel Meníndez, on the night of the 14th, when he
told us that he had no information on the case of Ana Maráa.
Moreover, we cannot help but regret our failure in
convincing the judicial officers who took part in petitioning
for habeas corpus, that this was a clear case of homicide and
of illegal deprivation of freedom, so that they might try
immediately to establish a possible connection between the
discovery of the body and the situation of Ana Maráa. The
Judicial Branch has a heavy obligation with regard to violations
of human rights, and it is time that it tried to fulfill it.
The Federal Police and the police of the Province of Buenos
Aires answered the petition for habeas corpus lodged before the
Federal Court No. 2 of San Martán by saying that she was not
There is no doubt that the security forces had a part in
these deplorable events.