Family members of people forcibly "disappeared" during Argentina's 1976-83 military dictatorship are hoping Pope Francis will order the opening of files from the era.

Graciela Palacio de Lois is a member of the group Families of the Disappeared and Held for Political Reasons. She said Thursday that the Argentine-born pope showed signs of wanting to release the files during a meeting with the group.

The files contain complaints to the papal nuncio in Argentina and the episcopate by familes of those disappeared during the military crackdown, including Palacio de Lois' letter denouncing the 1976 disappearance of her husband.

She says the head of the group made the request to the pope and he responded: "We're on it."

Human rights groups estimate up to 30,000 people were killed during the dictatorship.