French victim of Argentine junta identified after 34 years
The remains of a French national murdered under Argentina's military dictatorship have been identified after 34 years. High school students helped crack the case involving Frenchman Yves Domergue and his Mexican girlfriend Cristina Cialceta who were killed in 1976.
The students helped identify the remains which had been buried in unmarked public graves. Their work forced the regional human rights secretariat to open an official probe in 2008.
The bodies were then exhumed and it was determined that there were similarities to the Domergue case, leading to a DNA match.
Juliana Cagrandi, the students' teacher, had encouraged the pupils to investigate the case in 2003. A farmer had found the remains in September 1976 and a judge ordered an inquiry, which failed to identify the victims.
A retired legal officer then hid the official files, and helped the students, as did a lawyer and other residents of the town of Melincue.
Domergue and Cialceta were killed at the start of the 1976-1983 military regime. He was a member of the left-wing Revolutionary Workers Party and met Cialceta in the town of Rosario.
Eighteen French citizens vanished without trace during the junta’s rule or the coup that gave rise to it. Léonie Duquet, a nun, is the only other one to have been identified by her remains.
Argentina’s President Cristina Kirchner will be paying her respects to Domergue and Cialceta in a ceremony on Wednesday alongside the French ambassador.
Domergue’s father, Jean, had submitted three official demands for information, a number of international depositions and formed an organisation for the relatives of missing French citizens.
Around 30,000 people have been listed as missing by rights groups. Only 400 have so far been identified.