ASUNCION, Paraguay — Human rights groups said on Tuesday that they have identified the remains of an Italian woman and a Paraguayan man who were seized by authorities during a bloody regional crackdown on dissidents in the 1970s.
Rights activist Rogelio Goiburu said in press conference that Rafaelli Filipazzi and Miguel Angel Soler were identified by DNA tests carried out by Argentina’s Forensic Anthropology team.
Soler was secretary-general of the Paraguayan Communist Party when he was captured in the capital of Asuncion in 1975.
Filipazzi was an Italian socialist living in Argentina. She vanished in Uruguay in 1977, a victim of the Operation Condor conspiracy in which dictatorships in six South American countries joined to hunt down leftist dissidents.
Soler’s remains were found in 2006 and Filipazzi’s in 2012 — both at a former police base in Asuncion, but were only recently identified by genetically matching bone samples with the DNA of their relatives.
Paraguay’s Truth and Justice Commission says that 19,862 people were illegally detained, 18,772 were tortured and 336 were forcibly disappeared during the 1954-1989 dictatorship of Alfredo Stroessner.