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Biographical Summary

Carla Graciela Rutila Artés was born on 28th June 1975 in the neighbourhood of Miraflores in the Peruvian capital of Lima. Her father was the Uruguayan militant of the Movimiento de Liberación Nacional- Tupamaros (National Liberation Movement, MLN-T), Enrique Joaquín Lucas López. Her Argentine mother, Graciela Antonia Rutila Artés, was a student activist. Both were political militants who decided to move to Bolivia after Carla was born to join the Ejército de Liberación Nacional (Bolivian National Liberation Army, ELN).

Graciela participated in a movement that supported a miners' strike on 2nd April 1976 in the locality of Oruro situated in Bolivia's Altiplano region. Bolivian repressors captured Enrique, Graciela, and nine-month-old Carla once they returned home.

The baby was renamed 'Nora Nemtala' and taken to a children's home where she remained under the supervision of members of the Bolivian Ministry of the Interior. On several occasions, she was taken to the Departamento de Orden Político (Department of Political Order, DOP) to be used as an instrument in her mother's interrogation. 

Her father, Enrique found out about the capture and was assassinated a few months later. According to the official story, he died in an armed conflict with DOP agents in Cochabamba city. Whereas witnesses claim that he was assassinated following his arrest on 17th September 1976.

By this point, Carla and her mother had already been transferred to Argentina. On 29th August 1976, they were handed over to Argentine border guards in the city of Villazón-La Quiaca (Jujuy Province), which borders Bolivia to the north. That same day, the Bolivian Minister of the Interior released a radio broadcast in which he announced that Graciela Rutila and her daughter, Carla had been deported from Bolivia. They were both transferred to Buenos Aires and held in the Automotores Orletti clandestine torture and detention centre.

In 1983, the Argentine NGO Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo (Grandmothers of May Square) found evidence that the repressor Eduardo Ruffo- who belonged to both the Alianza Anticomunista Argentina (Argentine Anticommunist Alliance, Triple A) and the Secretaría de Inteligencia del Estado (State Intelligence Secretariat)- and his wife, Amanda Cordero had appropriated the two children and registered them as their biological children. After the courts summoned them, Ruffo and Cordero became fugitives until they were found in 1985. The National Genetic Data Bank carried out DNA tests on the nine-year old which confirmed that she was Graciela and Enrique's biological daughter.

Two years after recovering her identity, Carla moved in with her maternal grandmother, Matilde 'Sacha' Artés. She moved with her grandmother to Spain because they felt unsafe after the Argentine government passed the amnesty laws known as the Full Stop Law and Due Obedience Law in 1986 and 1987, respectively. Carla settled in Spain, where she had three children. Despite the geographic distance, she remained forever committed to the fight for truth, memory, and justice.

She returned to Argentina in 2010 to testify against her appropriator for the crimes he committed against her at Automotores Orletti and the abuse she suffered while he was raising her as his biological daughter. In 2011, she also delivered her testimony at the trial known as the Plan Sistemático de robo de bebés (Systematic Baby Stealing Plan).

That year, she met Nicolás Biedma, the son of the Chilean militant, Antonio Biedma, who was disappeared in Argentina under Operation Condor in 1976. They fell in love and got married in 2012. Carla returned to Europe once again to give her testimony before the Italian Condor Trial.

After being diagnosed with cancer, Carla was just 41 years old when she died in Buenos Aires on 22nd February 2017. Her brave testimony made a fundamental contribution to expanding the knowledge of Condor's repressive operation and the coordination between Argentina and Bolivia.

Personal Data
Rutila Artes, Carla Graciela
Age range
Country of birth
Repressive Operation
Victim was transferred between countries
Date of transfer between countries