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Victoria Donda

Victoria Donda Perez is an Argentinian human rights activist and legislator. She is the first daughter of a "disappeared" person, born in captivity, to become a member of the Argentine National Congress. She is also the youngest woman to hold that office.

Early life

She was born in 1977, in the notorious clandestine detention center called ESMA in Buenos Aires while her mother, Maria Hilda Perez de Donda, was "disappeared" for her leftist activity. Her father, Jose Maria Laureano Donda, was also held in captivity during the same time. Both remain disappeared and are presumed to have been killed during that period. She is one of approximately 500 children known to have been born to disappeared political prisoners during Argentina's Dirty War (1976-1983), who were kidnapped and registered under false identities.

After her mother was killed, Victoria was handed over to another family, who raised her but never told her about her biological parents. Her case is particularly unusual because her paternal uncle, Adolfo Miguel Donda Tigel (the brother of her father), was a naval officer who was one of the primary individuals responsible for ESMA, and participated in the imprisonment, torture, and killing of her parents.

Recovery of her identity

In 2003, when she was 26 years of age, Victoria Donda discovered her true identity after communicating with the group H.I.J.O.S. (Sons and Daughters for Identity and Justice Against Forgetting and Silence) and the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo.

Despite that, even knowing that her real mother was one of the ESMA disappeared, for a long time she was reticent to have her DNA tested in order to find out who her biological parents were.

On May 24, 2004, when ESMA was converted by the government into a memorial center, Donda spoke at the ceremony:

One week later, DNA analysis revealed Donda's true identity. She was the first "sister" found by H.I.J.O.S. and the 78th granddaughter found by the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo. Some weeks later, her kidnapper was detained; he is currently on trial, along with Alfredo Astiz and other prosecuted, for 62 crimes against humanity.

Human rights activism

Before Victoria Donda knew her identity, she had already been interested in human rights and poverty issues, working for a soup kitchen called "Azucena Villaflor", name of a disappeared human rights activist and first president of Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo. Donda became later member of the Movimiento Libres del Sur.

Elected office

In 2006 Victoria Donda was elected a councilmember in the municipality of Avellaneda, Buenos Aires Province.

In 2007 she was elected, as a member of the Front for Victory front on the Popular and Social Encounter list, to Argentina's Chamber of Deputies (Argentina's lower house of Congress), with her term beginning in December 2007.


The documentary film Familia de sangre, directed by Gustavo Bobbio and Daniel Ortiz, tells the story of Victoria Donda. La historia de Victoria Donda, or Martin Pique, Pagina/12, 2006

External links



Derechos humanos: las Hermanas de Victoria, Pagina/12, October 29, 2004

Para Victoria, la nieta recuperada numero 78, el hilo de la memoria es de color azul, Causa Popular, October 23, 2004

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Victoria Donda

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