The youngest member of the Argentine National Congress reveals the gruesome story of her uncle’s involvement in her birth parents’ murder, her kidnapping and adoption and the shock waves the truth created in her life.
Born in captivity in a military prison to a mother she never knew, Donda chronicles the painful discovery of her true identity. At the age of 27, the author learned that she was the daughter of one of the “disappeared,” one of “the thirty thousand people who were kidnapped, tortured, and eventually killed” by the military dictatorship beginning in the 1970s. Analía, as she was known, always perceived a gulf between herself and the couple she knew as her parents. “From my earliest years, I’ve had a rebellious, contentious nature that was diametrically opposed to that of the man and woman who raised me whom I believed to be my parents,” writes the author. At an early age, Donda became active in social-justice movements and helping the poor. As her political commitments deepened during the ’90s, the author rebelled against the right-wing ideology of her middle-class suburban parents. When she learned the identities of her real parents and how they died, she was forced to confront the truth: “I was thus raised in a brazen lie, knowing nothing of my true roots and loving the very people who benefited from the tragic fate of my real parents.” Donda deftly leads readers through Argentina’s Byzantine history of guerrilla groups, dictatorships, coups and military policies, providing a solid foundation for understanding the political and social upheavals underpinning her story. As “the first baby stolen by the military to play an official role in the political life of her country,” the author serves as a witness to its horrific past and its hopeful future.
Donda’s captivating account of her surreal role in pulling back the curtain on one of the darkest periods of Argentine history merits a wide readership.