BUENOS AIRES – Argentina’s Forensic Anthropology Team identified the remains of a Spaniard who disappeared during the 1976-1983 military dictatorship in what is the first instance where the whereabouts of a person of that nationality who was a victim of the repression has been able to be determined.
Manuel Coley Robles, who disappeared in October 1976 and whose remains were buried in a cemetery on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, was the person identified by the team, officials told Efe.
The remains of Coley Robles, one of the almost 100 Spaniards who disappeared during the de facto regime that governed Argentina, were found in the General Villegas cemetery in the town of Isidro Casanova, on the outskirts of the capital, team leader Luis Fondebrider said.
After the team sent a report to judicial officials about the identification of the remains, Buenos Aires Judge Horacio Cattani confirmed on Nov. 24 that the genetic studies verified that the remains were those of Coley Robles, although that data was not released on Wednesday with the announcement.
Coley Robles – born June 29, 1934, in Barcelona – disappeared on Oct. 27, 1976, after an armed group of about 20 people, who identified themselves as army personnel, kidnapped him in his house in the Buenos Aires city of Quilmes, according to a communique released by the Commission on Disappeared Spaniards in Argentina.
The abductors took Coley Robles, who was a union delegate for the Rigolleau company in the Buenos Aires town of Berazategui, from his home “at dinner time, in front of his wife and children, who were still small,” said the communique.
According to testimony linked to the investigation of the case, Coley Robles was transferred through different clandestine detention centers, including the one known as the “Pozo de Quilmes.”
The investigation found that Coley Robles died Feb. 5, 1977, months after being kidnapped, and his remains showed several bullet wounds.
The Committee for Disappeared Spaniards in Argentina estimates that about 100 Spaniards and more than 2,000 Argentine citizens of Spanish origin disappeared during the South American country’s last military dictatorship.
The case of Coley Robles falls within the framework of the Latin American initiative to definitively identify heretofore unidentified remains being carried out by the forensic team, which receives financing from the U.S. Congress and was launched in 2007. EFE