María O'Donnell


After months of planning and an operation that lasted just two minutes, on the 19th of September, 1974, Peronist guerrillas ambushed and kidnapped the heirs to Bunge and Born, the largest economic group in Argentina.

Forty years ago, Montonero guerrillas got away with 60 million dollars -the equivalent of just over 260 million dollars today- still a world record for successful ransom payments.

This book by María O'Donnell features the exclusive account of Jorge Born, speaking about the ordeal for the first time, as well as investigative research following the trail of the money, which the Army and Navy chased obsessively throughout the dictatorship until Jorge recovered a few million through a shady deal with one of its victims, Rodolfo Galimberti.

Told at a gripping pace, the book reconstructs 'Operation Mellizas' (Operation Twins), uncovering hitherto unknown facts: why the father of the hostages refused to pay, how Jorge negotiated from captivity for the life of his brother first and then his own, the role played by the Cuban revolution and the banker David Graiver in the transfer of funds and how the story led to the pardon granted by Carlos Menem to Mario Firmenich for his role in the kidnapping.

Born is a real-life Argentinian thriller, a riveting story about money, politics, mystery and betrayal that runs right up to the present day, revealing new facts along the way.

'The most expensive kidnapping of History', an article on Born in El País (spanish).

'40 years after the kidnapping of 60 million', an article on Born in La Tercera (spanish).

María O'Donnell interview on the occasion of the publication of Born (spanish).


Other titles from María O'Donnell:

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