Argentine Media Giant Owner Arrested on Human Rights Violation

Ernestina Herrera de Noble, 77 years old, was arrested on Tuesday accused on falsification of Identity Documents in a cause related with the adoption of children presumably kidnapped during country's Military Dictatorship in the 70s. Mrs. Herrera de Noble is the CEO huge Argentine media holding, Grupo Clarin, controller of Diario Clarin, main local newspaper and one of the most important in the Spanish speaking world. Clarin Group, also handles Canal 13 - main local TV channel, several radio stations, magazines, press agencies and other mass media companies.

She is the widow of Mr. Roberto Noble, Clarin's founder, who died in the 60's. The marriage did not have children, so Ernestina decided to adopt two in 1976, year of the militarist coup d'etat, which toppled constitutional President Maria Estela Martinez de Peron, widow of the populist leader Juan Domingo Peron. They are Felipe and Marcela.

Since then many suspected both children belonged to people killed under the Juntas regime. However no formal demands were presented to the local courts until 1994, when the human rights association "Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo", a group of women with "disappeared" children and grandchildren did it. The case is founded on denounces they received from two families who claimed for the children.

The cause is being currently handled by Judge Marquevich, who is in charge of the investigations on children kidnapping during the 70's. Marquevich ordered the arrest of former Dictator Jorge Rafael Videla, accused on organizing these kidnappings and delivering children to "friend" families.

Marquevich asked for a full copy of the adoption file and noticed irregularities in the supplying of documentation. Therefore, asked for a DNA test on the children, now 26 years old, but they refused over six times. Then, Marquevich ordered a mandatory testing on Felipe and Marcela, to take place on Friday.

At the same time, Judge asked for the immediate arrest of Ernestina de Noble for falsification of documentation and hiding of identity.

Clarin, in turn, issued a press release on its on line version, in which considers Noble's detention as illegal and abusive.

Since 1976 the ruling Juntas systematically killed human right activists, artists, intellectuals and leftists militants. The account adds up to 30.000 in seven years, but most of them were simply reported "disappeared" by the juntas. After the return to democracy in 1983, human right groups are trying to reinstate sons of the "disappeared people" to their original families.

Hernan Etchaleco PRAVDA.Ru Argentina

Photo (Revista Caras): Ernestina Herrera de Noble, Argentina's most powerful woman.

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