Center For Human Rights and Humanitarian Law
November 18, 1978
RESOLUTION No 31/78
Case 2553 (ARGENTINA)
"The purpose of this letter is to determine the whereabouts of a female child, named CLARA ANAHI MARIANI, born on August 12, 1976 in La Plata.
"It is public knowledge that on November 24, 1976, at approximately 1.30 p.m., an armed confrontation took place between the joint forces and the occupants of a farm located on Calle 30, between 55 and 56, in La Plata. This house was the residence of Daniel E. Mariani, his wife Diana E. Teruggi, and their three-month old daughter, CLARA ANAHI.
"According to a newspaper reports and reports from neighbors, the house--where the child was--was completely surrounded by the joint forces before the confrontation which lasted for several hours.
"On the day following the event, an oral report was made to the 5th Police Precinct that the child's name did not appear in the summary proceedings along with the names of those who had died and who had been identified by the police.
"On March 3, 1977, a written reply was received to one of the notes presented to the Chief of Infantry Regiment No. 7, Colonel Conde, reporting that the child's whereabouts were unknown, but that Police Headquarters of Operations Area 113 was continuing the investigation.
"Dr. Sambucetti initiated proceedings No. 36.792 in Juvenile Court No. 2. Reports were obtained from the Children's Hospital, the Fire Departments, the Regional and Police Units. All replies were negative, and the police were informed that no minor had been at the place where the incident occurred.
"After a year of continuous and anguished searching, the child's whereabouts are still unknown. She has not been found alive or dead, and there is no explanation for her disappearance."
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55. MARIANI, Clara Anahí: Investigation conducted by the competent authorities to determine her whereabouts has not produced positive results to date (CASE 2553)."
"The reply you received from the Government of Argentina is the same as it gives to all inquiries about people who have disappeared, regardless of their age. I believe that for a military government, which has such an efficient intelligence service, it would not be difficult to establish, if it wanted to, the whereabouts of a baby who was not yet walking and who needed to be bottle-fed to survive.
"We feel that CLARA ANAHI is in the hands of the Argentine authorities or that the authorities have disposed of her, for the following reasons:
"Insofar as giving away other people's children is concerned, I can inform you that Monsignor has told us that he had rescued several little children who were in the hands of policemen who had registered them as their own.
"The clergy must be aware of this, just like every other person in this land.
"It has not been possible to rescue CLARA ANAHI. Was she given away by some important person? Or it is some very important person who has her? The secrecy surrounding the matter would lead one to think so. (Also some comments that have been heard.) If there is a witness, for obvious reasons, one cannot rely on his coming forward with information.
"A further point which lacks confirmation is that apparently DIANA E. TERUGGI was gunned down when the confrontation began, while she was trying to escape through the back of the house carrying her child with her. They cut her in half, and falling, the child was bathed in her mother's blood and although unconscious, was unharmed. From there, they would have wrapped her up and given her to some important person who disposed of her.
"What is known therefore is:
"The names of the military and police officers who were present while DANIEL's house was being attacked appeared in the newspapers of November 25, 1976. I believe that they must naturally know CLARA ANAHI's fate. And we also feel that they must be able to remember the event well because it was the longest, one of the bloodiest and I believe the only one, where, at the end, they used a bomb generating a temperature of 2000 degrees, to end the resistance. (This is what was said at the Federal Police in La Plata.)
"In this search for CLARA ANAHI MARIANI, case 2553, everything remains unchanged: her whereabouts are unknown, despite numerous inquiries that have been made. We have to go to the Directora Nacional de la Minoridad (the National Juvenile Bureau); the Provincial Director for Juveniles, we have held interviews with all the juvenile judges in Buenos Aires. The Supreme Court took up the case with much interest, but finally declared that it did not have jurisdiction."
The Commission received the following additional information from the complainant in a note dated August 18, 1978:
"There was hope of finding CLARA ANAHI through the National Juvenile Bureau, but they say that there are no records on file. There are still checking adoptions during the past two years at our request. They don't know what results this might bring; let us hope that they might be able to locate one of the fifteen babies that we are looking for."
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"C. Persons on whom investigator proceedings have been started to determine their whereabouts and possible status because there was no record of denunciations earlier than that made by that Commission:
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16. MARIANI Clara Anahí, (Case 2553)."
THE INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS,