(Washington, D.C.) - The attack last Friday on the Buenos Aires home of Estela Carlotto, president of the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo (Abuelas de la Plaza de Mayo) must be thoroughly investigated, Human Rights Watch said today.
A gunman shot out the windows of Estela Carlotto's front door, apparently from a moving vehicle, at approximately 4:00 a.m. on Friday, September 20. According to press reports, the weapon used was a shotgun of the same make as that used by the police.
The previous day, the Grandmothers had presented a document to the Buenos Aires Supreme Court denouncing abuses by the city's police force, which they compared to abuses committed under Argentina's military dictatorship. In recent months, allegations of torture by the Buenos Aires police have escalated.
"The government should thoroughly investigate this grave incident and bring to justice those responsible," said José Miguel Vivanco, executive director of the Americas Division of Human Rights Watch. "If this was an act of intimidation, as it appears, the government must make it absolutely clear that such actions will not be tolerated."
For more than two decades, the Grandmothers have campaigned tirelessly to discover the fate of babies who were separated from their mothers, after the mothers were detained, and given to military families when Argentina was under military rule. Most of the mothers were killed or "disappeared."