BUENOS AIRES -- Nelva Mendez de Falcone, an early member of an Argentine group that protested disappearances of loved ones during Argentina's Dirty War, has died, her family said. She was 76.
Mrs. Mendez de Falcone died Monday of an unspecified lung problem for which she had been hospitalized for the past 10 days in La Plata, 30 miles southeast of the capital of Buenos Aires, the family said.
She was one of the first members of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, the famous white-scarved activists who for decades have pressed to learn the fate of their children who vanished during the 1976-83 dictatorship.
Mrs. Mendez de Falcone's 16-year-old daughter, Maria Claudia Falcone, was arrested and tortured in 1976 by the military regime's security services along with six other students who were accused of organizing a group demanding reduced public transportation fares. The girl and five other students remain unaccounted for today and are believed to have been killed.
In 1977, Mrs. Mendez de Falcone joined the Mothers, who had just begun weekly silent marches on the Plaza de Mayo in front of the presidential palace to demand information about their missing children.
According to official figures, about 13,000 people disappeared under the dictatorship.