Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Guatemala: Children Kidnapped from Orphanage/Some Returned

According to news reports, armed kidnappers forced their way into a Guatemalan orphanage in Guatemala City in the middle of the night on Sunday, March 11 and abducted five of the orphanage's youngest children.

The children were presumed to have been kidnapped in order to be sold on the black market.

Don't know if it means anything, but the kidnappings took place the day before US President George Bush was to arrive in Guatemala City.

Among the children stolen was a baby (M) with a cleft palate, whom an American couple, had "nearly finished adopting." The couple had spent several days with her on several different trips and had been expecting final clearance on the adoption "any day now."

Concerned that the child might not be adoptable on the black market because of her condition (which the kidnappers may not have noticed during the nighttime abduction), M's prospective parents were especially worried about what might become of her.

Being told that:

" children stolen by black-market adoption brokers in Guatemala had ever been recovered"
...only added to their worries.

Therefore, it was with much relief and surprise that they learned that M and two others of the five abducted children, were returned to the orphanage two days later--again, in the middle of the night.

"That three of the children were returned so quickly after being kidnapped, 'is very unusual,' said Audrey Leonard, director of international adoptions at The Family Network, "But we still have two children missing."

The US State Department has reportedly confirmed the kidnapping and confirmed that three of the kidnapped children have been returned. However, confidentiality policies have prevented them from giving any details of the events, any details about the orphanage involved, or details about the children themselves.

Details about the kidnappings have not been available anywhere in the press. Indeed the only general news source that seems to have covered the kidnappings is the local newspaper in M's prospective parents' hometown.

Lock those doors, post those armed guards. Human children are now as valuable as gold or cash in the markets of the world.

A 2 A.M. Call Brings News of Kidnapping To Adoptive Couple, The Oregonian, 03/14/07

Two Days of Agony Over Reportedly Kidnapped Girl End: 'She's OK,' 03/15/07


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