After almost four decades, she was filled with hope that a missing granddaughter had finally been found.
But Maria Isabel de Mariani, the founder of a group that searches for relatives who disappeared during Argentina’s dictatorship, has had her hopes dashed.
DNA tests have shown that there is no genetic link between “Chicha,” as she is known publicly, and 39-year-old Maria Elena Wehrli.
“Chicha Mariani is very sad, very hurt. We are concerned about the health of Chicha,” said her biographer Juan Martin Ramos Padilla.
“We were just with her. She asked us to speak with you and expressed her gratitude to all those who have sent their best wishes. She’s got the same resolve to continue fighting.”
Human rights groups say up to 30,000 people were kidnapped, tortured and assassinated during the dictatorship, which began in 1976.
The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo have been able to recover 119 children, whose parents were disappeared by members of the dictatorship.