Every few days I see a story on the news or a sign on the streets commemorating the thirtieth anniversary of somone who was disappeared, such as this poster: an homage to a mother who fought for life and liberty.

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Angela Maria Aieta de Gullo was born in Fuscaldo, Italy on March 7, 1921. She lived in the barrio of Parque Chacabuco and Flores and was the mother of four sons. One of her sons, Juan Carlos Dante was imprisoned in 1975 for being a leader of the Peronist Youth. On the fifth of August in 1976 she was taken from her own home and witnesses reported seeing her at ESMA, the Navy School of Mechanics, a notorious torture center. In 1979 her youngest son Salvador Jorge also was disappeared. Juan Carlos Dante Gullo was freed in 1983 with the fall of the dictatorship and is still active in politics.

It is believed that she was carried onto one of the death flights in 1976 that dropped the disappeared into the Rio de la Plata.

Last night, Saturday evening, a mass and tribute to all the disappeared from the barrio took place in front of her home. A statement on the web site of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo lists the names of 32 people who disappeared from the same barrio.

Trial in Italy

There’s more to this poster than the simple remembrance of a dear mother by her family.

Italy is using the death of Angela Aieta and two other Italian citizens who resided and disappeared in Argentina as the basis of an investigation and trial of five officers from the Argentine Navy: Jorge Acosta, Alfredo Astiz, Hector Frebr├ęs, Antonio Vanek, and Jorge Vildoza. Lawyers for navy admiral Emilio Massera, who was a member of the ruling military junta, are pleading that he is now mentally unfit to stand trial.

Most of the former navy officers live in Argentina. Vildoza is a fugitive whose location is unknown.

They are being tried in absentia in Italy. Testimony from more than forty witnesses against the navy officers is scheduled to begin in October.