BUENOS AIRES – Ernestina Herrera de Noble, the largest shareholder and director of the Clarin Group, Argentina’s largest media conglomerate, died on Wednesday, company officials said. She was 92.
Born in Buenos Aires in 1925, Herrera married Roberto Noble, who had founded the daily Clarin 20 years earlier.
Herrera became Clarin’s director on Jan. 21, 1969, nine days after the death of her husband.
Clarin, in its online edition, remarked on Wednesday that under Herrera’s leadership, the daily became one of the world’s most important Spanish-language media publications.
“She accomplished a noteworthy task, also in education, culture and national development,” the public added regarding Herrera, who also headed the Noble Foundation.
Currently, the media group is one of the largest in Latin America, participating in radio and both regular and cable television, in the graphic industry, the Internet and in the broader world of telecommunications.
Wielding considerable influence during her long career, in recent years, during the governments of Nestor Kirchner (2003-2007) and his wife, Cristina Fernandez (2007-2015), Herrera became involved in assorted controversies.
The adoptive mother of Marcela and Felipe Noble Herrera, she was accused and arrested in 2002 in a lawsuit claiming that her children were really the offspring of people who were arrested and then “disappeared” during the 1976-1983 Argentine dictatorship.
After lengthy court proceedings, the courts determined that the children’s DNA did not match any of the samples in the National Genetic Database and in January 2016 the case was dismissed.
The lawsuit had been brought by the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo, which works to find the almost 500 children illegally removed from their parents – who were executed by the regime – and placed in other homes to be raised.
In December 2016, a judge ordered the dismissal of a case brought against the heads of Clarin and the daily La Nacion, including Herrera de Noble, among others, for the alleged illicit appropriation during the dictatorship of Papel Prensa, the only manufacturer of newsprint in the country.