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Biographical Summary

Noemí Esther Gianetti 'Mima' de Molfino was born on 8th May 1925 in Saladillo, Buenos Aires Province (Argentina), where she met her husband, José, with whom she had six children.

José Molfino was a renowned journalist who was appointed the Cultural Attaché of the Argentine Embassy in Asunción (Paraguay). The family lived in Paraguay for several years before settling in the Chaco Province of northern Argentina. José died at the tender age of 39. 

Noemí was the pillar of strength and support for the family, especially after she was widowed. Her eldest sons and daughters became involved in politics from an early age. During the wave of political militancy of the 1970s, some of her children joined the Partido Revolucionario de los Trabajadores (Workers' Revolutionary Party, PRT), while others became involved in the Peronist or trade union movements.

After the 1976 coup d'état, the Argentine state hunted down Noemí's children. Her daughter, Alejandra, was arrested in May 1976 for having participated in the Chaco teacher union. Noemí, therefore, joined forces with families of political prisoners and the NGO Madres de Plaza de Mayo (Mothers of May Square) to denounce the crimes of the Argentine dictatorship to international organisations. 

The family members lived in hiding in Buenos Aires until they decided to go into exile in 1977. Noemí went to Spain with her youngest son, Gustavo, her daughter, Marcela, and her son-in-law, Guillermo Amarilla. 

On 23rd March 1979, Noemí's eldest son, Miguel Ángel was detained and brutally tortured in the city of Resistencia (Chaco Province, Argentina) for belonging to the PRT. Following her son's arrest, Noemí took part in a public event organised by the United Nations Commission of Human Rights in Geneva (Switzerland), where she denounced the torture that her children had suffered. Meanwhile, she started to become involved in the guerrilla group, Montoneros, where she was nicknamed 'Mima'. 

Between 1979 and 1980, a group of militants who had been forced into exile decided to return to Argentina to resist the dictatorship. They launched an undercover operation known as the Contraofensiva Montonera (Montoneros Counteroffensive). One of the actors involved was Noemí's daughter, Marcela, who returned to Argentina with her family. A few months later, she was captured in Buenos Aires together with her three young children on 17th October 1979. Her husband disappeared the same day. Marcela had recently fallen pregnant and her three children were returned to their paternal family later that year on 2nd November. 

Noemí travelled to Lima (Peru) in 1979 to rejoin her son, Gustavo, who was an active member of the Montoneros. On 13th July 1980, she was kidnapped together with María Inés Raverta and Julio César Ramírez in the Miraflores neighbourhood of Lima as part of Plan Condor's system of coordinated repression.

Noemía Gianetti, María Inés, and Julio César were taken to a Peruvian army recreation centre on Hondable Beach, 50 kilometres away from Lima, where they were tortured by the Argentine Army. The names of the Peruvian military members and police officers involved in the captures widely circulated in the national press. Details of the Argentine officers who had taken an Aerolíneas Argentinas flight to Lima on 5th July were also leaked. The operation involved officers from the Policía de Inteligencia Peruana (Peruvian Intelligence Police, PIP) and members of the Argentine Army from Campo de Mayo, one of Argentina's largest military bases, and its 601 Intelligence Battalion. 

Growing public concerns pushed the Peruvian state to hand the captured insurgents over to Argentina three days later. Noemía Gianetti, María Inés, and Julio César remained at the Bolivian border for a few days before being detained in the clandestine torture and detention centre at Campo de Mayo.

On 21st July 1980, a little more than a month after the capturing incident in Peru, the Spanish police reported that it had found the body of a woman in an apartment hotel in Madrid. The investigation revealed that the body belonged to Noemí and that two Argentine men had rented the apartment a few days earlier. It is thought that she was poisoned to death. 

Noemí's grandson, Marcela and Guillermo's fourth child, was born in captivity at Campo de Mayo and recovered his identity only in 2009. 

In the July-2021 case of the Contraofensiva Montonera (Montoneros Counteroffensive), Argentina's Federal Criminal Court No.4 (Tribunal Oral Federal N°4 de San Martín) condemned three military intelligence agents from the Detachment 201 of Campo de Mayo and the 601 Intelligence Battalion for the case of Noemí.

Personal Data
Giannetti de Molfino, Noemi
Age range
Country of birth
Repressive Operation
Victim was transferred between countries
Date of transfer between countries