Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Response of the US Department of State

Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 8, 2010


The recent announcement that the U.S. will not participate in the Guatemalan Pilot Program is just another nail in the coffin of Intercountry Adoption. The incredible HYPOCRISY that governs this decision is - while not surprising - still totally infuriating. The U.S. DOS promoted the passage of the current adoption law in Guatemala, despite vigorous opposition by adoption advocates with knowledge of Guatemalan politics and realities. Prior to the U.S. intervention in promoting this law, the law was - in various incarnations - voted down over a period of 6 years. It was promoted intensely by UNICEF. The Hague Treaty was passed "illegally" in Guatemala in 2003 and its passage was OVERTURNED by the Constitutional Court in Guatemala in Sept.2003. In 2006, the State Department announced that "they" were considering Guatemala to still be party to the Hague, despite earlier acknowledgements that Guatemala's Constitutional Court had ruled that Guatemala's constitution did not allow them to participate in a Treaty when they had not participated in the Conventions leading to the Treaty (as Guatemala had not been party to the Conventions leading to the Hague Treaty). Once the Department of State convinced the Guatemalan Congress, in a series of "smoke and mirrors" arguments to reinstate the Hague Treaty, they also convinced them to pass the adoption law, which eliminated the Notarial Law. All new adoptions from Guatemala ceased on Dec.31, 2007. Though the new law has a "grandfather clause" covering all adoptions initiated under the Notarial process before December 31, 2007, the Guatemalan authorities have not honored the Grandfather clause in many ways, with thousands of adoptions in process being delayed over the last 3 years, and still hundreds are being obstructed, many without legal basis. The U.S. Department of State has been noticeably inactive in its lack of advocacy for these adoptions initiated by U.S. citizens prior to the law changing.

In my opinion, the Hague Treaty governing intercountry adoption has been a tool used by first world governments to limit or eliminate adoptions of children from developing countries. There seems to be a collusion between the governments, Unicef, and the officials at the Hague to promote the Treaty as being in the best interests of children, while nothing is done to actually assure for the alternative care of those children who are not being adopted, nor are adoptions in any serious numbers being promoted.

In Guatemala, an alternative law was presented to the Congress in 2007, which would have regulated the adoption services in accordance with the mandates of the Hague Treaty, while developing a public-private partnership and still maintaining the social services; but this law was not acceptable. Now, in Guatemala, there is minimal public support for children, and private support - which in the past has accounted for 90% of support for children - is dwindling each day, as much of it was dependent on adoptions.

The first world governments, like the U.S., who have insisted on the Hague Treaty in these countries, have an obligation to help the impoverished governments, like Guatemala, develop acceptable and child centric systems. When the Department of State was trying to get U.S. adoption organizations to support the Hague Treaty, they committed to helping developing countries comply with the Treaty. What happened to those promises? More important, what is actually happening to the children who cannot be adopted?

Hannah Wallace,
Focus On Adoption

Friday, September 3, 2010

Letter to the Office of Children's Issues regarding their post about Asociacion Primavera

                                                                                                         Guatemala, September 3, 2010
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children Issues.

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

On August 27, 2010, you posted on your website   at  an update about the situation of the orphanages in Guatemala, whose children were taken away by the authorities.  Of all the orphanages, names are mentioned only with regard to Asociación Primavera. Since my name is mentioned there and the accusations stated in your communication against both attorney Alma Beatriz Valle de Mejia and myself, are falsely stated, I want to express my concern about the spreading of false information by the US State Department. The presumption of innocence is a constitutionally protected right, in your country as well as in mine, and that has been totally ignored in this statement.

A year ago, seventeen children, who were very well cared for at Asociación Primavera, were illegally removed from the only home they had known, by employees of the PGN, the Ministerio Publico and the Consejo Nacional de Adopciones. They had no court order and no legal grounds to remove the children, and when they could not obtain a proper authorization, they took the children anyway. A full account of the kidnapping of these seventeen children is recorded at the website of Asociación Defensores de la Adopción (ADA) at   The process to challenge the illegal removal of the children is currently pending before the Supreme Court of Guatemala. It has been an uphill battle this past year, and the casualties have been the children whose contact with their adoptive families was abruptly severed by the abuse of power of people who seem to have no interest in the welfare of the children.

The post  mentioned above stated that the judge of Escuintla, who approved many of the abandonments from hogar Primavera,  was recently stripped of his immunity, which implies that the abandonments he ruled on could be challenged. This piece of misinformation may bring undue anguish to the waiting families. The fact that the Supreme Court authorized that the judge of Escuintla may stand trial, does not mean that the abandonments he ruled on are illegal, much less that the adoptions of those children are also illegal. Some of those abandonments were upheld by the Court of Appeals of the Childhood and Adolescence and even one of them by the Supreme Court itself

On December 16, 2009, the Ministerio Publico obtained a warrant for my arrest, accusing me of “traffic of people, use of forged documents and illegal association.” None of those accusations have the slightest foundation, nor has any evidence been produced to give credence to these claims. The only reason I was linked to the process, is because the judge, as she candidly confessed at the hearing, “has not a clue about the Law of Minors” and could not understand the arguments that we presented to her. In the case in question, there was not even an adoption, because the birthmother regained custody of her child that she willingly placed for adoption in the first place. Furthermore, this same birth mother had previously filed a petition to the court to dismiss this case based on the voluntary relinquishment of her daughter, because she reasoned that nobody should be blamed for her decision and much less those who provided loving shelter and care to her daughter. Even though it is true that I was allowed to post bail and was given house arrest, you must clarify that “house arrest”, does not mean the same thing in Guatemala as it does in the United States. Here the person on house arrest can travel freely all over the country, needing judicial authorization only to cross the international borders. Yet this distinction is left out of your report, implying that things are much worse than they are.

The email states that I was arrested “on charges of irregular adoptions”, which is incorrect. The charges were of “traffic of people”, which must be known by those who wrote that email, involves exploitation, through forced sexual acts or forced labor. The subject is explained in the report about the Traffic of People, issued by the Department of State of the United States of America in June 2010. In the part pertaining to Guatemala, it clearly says: “The government maintained a small prosecutorial unit to investigate and prosecute human trafficking cases; approximately 60 percent of this unit’s investigations focused on illegal adoptions, which do not fall within the international definition of human trafficking.” (emphasis added).

There is a difference between “irregular adoptions”, as it was stated in article 194 of the Criminal Code, before it was modified by the law passed in April, 2009, and “illegal adoptions” as it is named in the US DOS report. “Traffic of people for irregular adoption” as it was stated in Article 194 of the Criminal Code, means to adopt a child and instead of treating him/her as a son or daughter, the adoptive parents enslave such child. It is obvious that there is a great difference between the crime of “exploitation, including forced prostitution, sexual exploitation, begging, forced labor or services, marriage for servitude, irregular adoption and slavery or any other kind of slavery”, and the crime of “to illegally process an adoption.” Yet, the Ministerio Publico wants everybody, and especially the judges, to believe that both are the same. This is the same technique, created by Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi Minister of Propaganda, which employs simply repeating the same lie enough times until it is perceived as the truth. Certainly the US wants no part in that kind of manipulation.

The State Department states in its report about Human Traffic in Guatemala:
Credible reports from international organizations, NGOs, and several government officials indicated that corrupt public officials continued to impede anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts and facilitated trafficking activity by accepting or extorting bribes, falsifying identity documents, leaking in formation about impending police raids to suspected traffickers, and ignoring trafficking activity in commercial sex sites.” How can the people of our investigative bodies ignore these real human traffickers, and instead focus their efforts on discrediting the people who work to give homes to abandoned children? And they use as their excuse this misuse of the wording of the law. Surely this will go down as a shameful page in the history books of Guatemala and for its complicity, the United States as well.

It is absolutely unconscionable to simply quote “the press” as a source of information to make the statement that attorney Alma Beatriz Valle Flores de Mejia and I formed a “network engaged in illegal adoptions in 158 cases of irregular adoptions in 2008 as part of her involvement with Asociación  Primavera.” Not only was that information never published in any newspaper, but it is not true. None of the adoptions of the children at Asociación Primavera is illegal, as the US Embassy can attest, because they had the opportunity to review all the necessary documents when they were presented in order to obtain the US visas for the adopted children. There are only two criminal cases regarding Asociación Primavera children. In one of them, Alma Beatriz Valle Flores de MejIa is not named as a defendant; and in the other, I have not been linked to the process yet, as I still have to be summoned to a hearing to give my deposition, and again, both cases lack any legal or factual grounds.

I am appalled by the way the communication posted in the Internet to the waiting families portrays us, when the people who wrote it must know, or at least should know that an adoption is a legal process, duly overseen by the courts and by the PGN, and that those of us who work to make the adoptions possible do not deserve to be treated as criminals. All of our work has been done ethically, professionally and certainly legally and we are entitled to our constitutional rights of due process and presumption of innocence to be respected by the Department of State of the United States and  to be treated by the US people with respect.

For many years I have been an advocate of adoption, as a way to give a family to those children who do not have one. I never thought that such a noble cause could be criminalized as has happened here in Guatemala and that the children could be sent to a prison, where their right to a family is daily ignored, even though they have families in the United States who are waiting for them. It would be an act of human kindness on the part of both governments, to stop using the children as hostages and allow them to join their forever families. To prolong the separation of the children is causing unnecessary grief to all parties involved, but especially to the children.

A brief research would prove the veracity of my statements. After you do so, I would appreciate a correction of the above mentioned statements. I thank you in advance for doing what is fair.

Best regards,

Susana Luarca, Attorney at Law,  Guatemala City.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The partnerships of UNICEF

To understand what is happening with international adoptions world wide, it is necessary to take a closer look at the activities of UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) who sponsors the wars against adoptions, funding activities to decrease the population in the Third World Countries, with any means they can.

To maintain its image of a venerable institution who works for the children, UNICEF needs to voice its negative and false anti adoption propaganda through other entities. Casa Alianza, an organization funded by Covenant House, a Catholic entity based in New York, was used in the 90’s to spread negative information about adoptions, which benefitted UNICEF, until its director Bruce Harris was caught by the Honduras police paying for sex to a male teen, who had been serviced (as Casa Alianza refers to the help they supposedly give to the children of the street) and who is sick with AIDS.

In 2000, UNICEF had no qualms in making up an entity called ILPEC to publish an study about Guatemalan adoptions that has been quoted since then as the only truth, when it is evident that the study passes opinions as facts and that it misrepresents the Guatemalan adoption legal process. Based on that so called report, UNICEF demanded the Guatemalan government to shut down adoptions as it has happened in many other countries in Latin America. To further their agenda, UNICEF and the policy makers of the First World Countries, designed a treaty that under the appearance of unifying the adoption laws of the countries to make adoptions more transparent, effectively closed them down, either at the country of origin of the children being adopted or at the country of destiny of the adopted children.

In March 5, 2003 Guatemala shut down all adoptions, both domestic and international. the Procuraduria General de la Nacion, - equivalent of the State Attorney – an entity that must give its approval before each adoption case could be authorized by the presiding authority (either a judge or a notary), without a warning and without a law to authorize it, simply started piling up all the adoption files started after that date refusing to issue that by law that entity was obligated to issue. Six months passed, that were pure agony for those adoptive parents whose children where caught in the illegal enforcement of a treaty commonly known as The Hague Convention for Intercountry Adoptions. That came to an end when the Constitutional Court of Guatemala ruled unconstitutional the law issued by Congress, approving the accession of Guatemala to such convention. According to the highest court in constitutional matters, the president of Guatemala is allowed to ratify treaties, but it is not among the powers of the president, clearly stated in the Constitution to accede to a treaty. The difference between ratification and accession is the participation of the country in a previous stage known as celebration, that it is the step when the delegates of the countries get together to discuss and agree on the terms of the treaty and sign it, before going back to their countries to request authorization to ratify it. In the accession, the country does not participate in celebration, but becomes a party to the convention after it has entered into full force.

In 2007, four years later and after a very powerful and very costly anti adoption campaign, the Constitutional Court issued an opinion of refusing to comply with the ruling of that very same court, giving free hand to the president to keep Guatemala bound by the already ruled unconstitutional accession to The Hague Convention and to the Congress, whose members were on their way out, the freedom to pass an Adoptions Law that centralized in an State entity the power to do and authorize adoptions. The congressmen were brought from their hometowns, where they already had retreated to enjoy their end of the year vacation, for an extraordinary session at Congress, to vote on the Adoptions Law, where the US Consul sat at the diplomatic balcony, with a list of the members of Congress, taking notes of how each of them voted. Previously and as stated by some of the congressmen, the US Consul called each of the congressmen to friendly advise them to approve the Adoptions Law because failing to do so would mean the loss of their visa to visit the United States of America.

The Adoptions Law included a grandfather provision that allowed the cases that were started before the new law became effective, on December 31, 2007, to be finalized according to the laws effective at the time of its initiation, provided the adoptions were registered at the Consejo Nacional de Adopciones (CNA). On January 14, 2008, the current administration took charge and the new authorities fired two of the three members of the CNA which hindered the registration of the cases, because the new members could not take charge as the fired ones would not relinquish their positions. One of the members appointed by the new administration is Elizabeth Hernandez de Larios, who was also the director of the PGN’s Central Authority for Adoptions during a good part of the six months period when adoptions were paralyzed in 2003, so it was not a surprise that thus far, with the exception of a few cases, intercountry adoptions have not been authorized.

Regardless of my personal belief that the human being needs a family since he is born until he dies, the Convention for the Rights of the Child, a human rights treaty celebrated and ratified by Guatemala and therefore, above any other law except for the Constitution, states that the children need to be with a family for their normal and harmonious development. However, there are people who think that abandoned children must remain as pupils of the State until they grow up. The problem with that is that Guatemala does not provide for its children hen they are again abandoned by their so called father, where they become easy prey of the organized crime.

The campaign against adoptions sponsored by UNICEF after the sex scandal of Bruce Harris discredited such entity, was entrusted to Fundacion Sobrevivientes, an entity leaded by Norma Cruz, a secretary and former guerrilla member, who formed it after she discovered that her husband had been sexually abusing her daughter for over five years, to help victims of domestic violence. Even though the entity has nothing to do with adoptions, Norma Cruz has been very vocal against adoptions, embracing the cause of the women who claim that their daughters where stolen to be adopted, starting a campaign called Empty Cradles, that was used to put pressure on the Guatemalan Congress to pass the current adoptions law.

International Adoption: Unicef's and Other Critics’ War Against International Adoption

International Adoption: Unicef's and Other Critics’ War Against International Adoption

Friday, October 16, 2009


All adoption cases started before December 31, 2007 and registered at the National Council of Adoptions (CAN) before February 13, 2008, are allowed to be processed and finalized according to the notarial system. Unfortunately, the CNA does not want to step aside of the grandfathered cases, to try to justify the small number of adoptions they have finalized in almost two years of its existence. First, they set up the “verification court” with the collaboration of the PGN and of the DA, to interview all the birthmothers and legal guardians of the children being adopted under the old laws. Clearly, neither the DA nor the CNA have anything to do with those adoptions, because they are neither crimes to investigate nor adoptions under the new law, but that did not stop either of them to keep using grandfathered adoptions to justify that they are not doing what they are meant to do.

In Guatemala, prostitution is legal, but it is not legal to operate brothels and much less, to exploit underage girls in those places. The Unit Against Traffic of People, of the District Attorney, supposedly works to protect people from any kind of exploitation and especially of the sexual kind, but instead of doing so, it devotes the best part of their efforts to try to find felonies in adoption processes, even if they already were approved by the PGN. Meanwhile, brothels are still open and girls are being shipped from all over the world to cater all their clients, but especially from other countries in Central America, where many girls are lured with offers of legal employment, just to find out when they get to Guatemala that they are forced into prostitution. But as it happens with drugs, the people who have interests in this kind of illegal activity are very powerful and it is very dangerous to go against them. It is safer to accuse lawyers and especially female lawyers, knowing that we are not going to shoot at them if they come after us. The DA has many adoption files, where they are trying to build cases against the lawyers who handled them. The DA agents spend countless hours investigating how many times the lawyers have traveled abroad, digging out personal and financial information about them and a lot of irrelevant data that has no bearing with the case. The consent of the birth mother is not taken into account, pictures and videos and even DNA results of tests done at the relinquishment of the children, offered by the lawyers to help with the investigation are rejected, because that can prove that everything is legal and what would they do to build the cases then.

The CNA offices take two floors of a new building located on Avenida Reforma, across the street from the American Embassy. Their offices are crawling with employees and there are stacks of official looking papers everywhere on sight. For an entity that has been working for less than two years and who did as little as 54 adoptions last year an even less this year and who has not even issued the regulations required by the Adoptions Law, the manpower and the paperwork displayed do not match its results. The president of the CNA claims that the lack of funds is detrimental for their work. They seem to forget that they can charge for their services when they do adoptions to foreigners, but of course, that would mean to actually have to work and why bother when their survival is guaranteed by those who do not want adoptions of Guatemalan children.

The recently appointed Attorney General was welcomed to his new post by the letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, sent by 52 US lawmakers, urging the US DOS to expedite Guatemalan adoptions. His response was to appoint an Adoptions Unit formed by three PGN lawyers and three CNA lawyers to review the “irregular adoptions” as they are commonly called by the Prensa Libre. To appoint CNA lawyers to review the grandfathered adoption processes is a big mistake, because not only those adoptions do not fall under the scope of their activities, but the CNA lawyers are programmed to oppose adoptions in general and notarial adoptions in particular. The Attorney General appointed other two PGN lawyers to help to review the cases. They should start by asking the DA to return those files where no felonies have been committed, to approve them right away and let those children move on with their lives. The PGN is quoted as having trouble in “recovering all the adoption files”, which only shows that they have no clue as to what are they supposed to do with the files. The PGN has three days to give an opinion and it should not send the file to the Unit of Childhood, because the first thing they do is to appoint an investigator who does not do much and the file ends up at the DA.

The CNA is urging the families whose adoptions are stalled to communicate their situation to the PGN and to the CNA. Since they have no power over notarial processes, it is useless to do so. It is better to complain directly to the Attorney General about your case and let him know the number and date of entry of your case and all the related information. His name is Guillermo Antonio Porras Ovalle and you can address him at

The voices of the adoptive parents still in process need to be heard. When somebody proposed a hunger strike in front of the PGN, many people opposed. When a praying vigil was proposed later, nobody wanted to do it. The demonstration at the Guatemalan Embassy was attended by very few families but it was noted by the Washington Post. It would be wonderful if all the families would make a collective effort to call the attention of the media to the situation of their adoptions that are being delayed simply because they are the reason of being of the jobs of many bureaucrats, who know that as soon as those adoptions are approved by the PGN, their jobs would be in jeopardy, so it is better for them to keep them in the system for as long as it is possible.

The lawmakers who signed the letter to Secretary of State Clinton need to know that their letter did not make a difference. They need to be told that the authorities in Gautemala are still opposing adoptions and that the children being adopted as well as their US adoptive families are still waiting for the release of their files.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


The Aftermath

We thought that the story of Karen Abigail finished for us when the three year old girl was picked up at the orphanage by her adoptive parents, who took her with them to their home in Missouri, USA, on December 9, 2008. We learned later that the story was far from being over. Some months after Karen Abigail had left Primavera, in March, 2009, a judge and a group of policemen went to the orphanage, which is located in zone ten of Guatemala City, just a block away from the buildings that house the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and of Education, with a habeas corpus order to find Karen Abigail.

The habeas corpus petition was filed by Loyda, a woman who claims that in the registration forms of the grandfathered adoptions at the National Council of Adoptions, she recognized the picture of Karen Abigail as her daughter who was stolen from her in November, 2006. Those forms had been there since February, 2008 and Loyda had reviewed them several times, and for a good part of the previous year, she was convinced that she had found her daughter in the picture of another girl, named Dulce Maria. Loyda was acting under the legal direction of one of the lawyers who work for Fundacion Sobrevivientes, whose director, Norma Cruz has been very outspoken against adoptions, although the scope of her entity is domestic violence.

When the judge with the warrant for the raid of the orphanage showed up at Primavera, I was called by Enriqueta, the director of the orphanage, who asked me to talk to the judge, because she was not at the orphanage and she could not come right away. My office is very close to the orphanage and I help the children who become abandonment cases, so I quickly went to the Primavera orphanage and explained to the judge that Karen Abigail already left with her parents, about four months before. The judge looked everywhere, calling Karen Abigail by a name that I had not heard before: Anyeli Liseth. When he was convinced that Karen Abigail was not at the orphanage, he left. Again, we thought that it was the end of it, since it would have been useless to continue looking for a child who was already adopted and no longer in Guatemala.

At the beginning of April, 2009, while I was spending some time with my family, away from our home in Guatemala City, I got a phone call from Francisca, one of the caregivers of the orphanage, to tell me that the orphanage was being raided by the District Attorney and the Police, who were looking for Karen Abigail. As soon as I hung up, I got another call from someone at my office, to let me know that it was being raided too, and then another call from my house keeper, that armed men wanted to get in, and that they had a raid warrant. A little bit later, I got a similar call from the director of the orphanage located in Palin, a small city in the highway to the Pacific Coast, where the children who had been abandoned by their parents awaited a ruling from the Court of Minors, either declaring them adoptable, or sending them back to their birth families if, in fact, the child was reclaimed by them.

That simultaneous raid of four places, took no less than one hundred men, four hours and at least twenty vehicles, not to mention the time that it must have taken to organize it. The result was easily expected: Karen Abigail was not found. Because as the DA already knew, she had left Guatemala with her adoptive parents, on December 9, 2008, to live in Missouri, the place of residence of her new family. In general terms, the raid was done in a polite manner, except for the fact that the DA brought to the raid a computer technician who checked all the computers at my office, crashing the hard disk of all of them, except for the one that was impounded. They also took everything related with another girl also named Karen Abigail, but who has nothing to do with the girl they were looking for. As well, they planted evidence that was not found at Primavera, but that was photographed as if it was found at the orphanage. That is to say, the pictures of the girl that Loyda had been showing everywhere claiming that it was her missing daughter and the cedula (ID document) of Loyda, the alleged mother of Karen Abigail. At my office, we are still looking for files and documents that were not among the documents the DA listed as impounded but that were at my office before the raid and after the raid are nowhere to be found.

Over the phone, I talked to the agent in charge of the raids, named Oscar Rivas, offering him any assistance I could provide. A lawyer who has his office a couple of blocks away from the orphanage was called by a mutual friend, to go to the raid and to talk to the agent Rivas. At the time, the DA people who were raiding the orphanage in Palin wanted to remove the nine children who were there, arguing that Primavera did not have the right to have an orphanage in that city. The lawyer showed agent Rivas the by-laws of the association where it says that it is, in fact, allowed to establish homes for children anywhere in Guatemala and the court orders that authorized the orphanage to shelter the children at the Primavera orphanage in Palin. The DA people had to desist and left the children at the orphanage, but leaked to the press the false news that the children had been removed from the orphanage because it was an illegal crib house, which is entirely not true.

A few days later, Enriqueta, the director of Primavera and I, went to the abandonment hearing of a little girl at the Escuintla Court of Minors, and when the hearing was over, the DA agent Oscar Rivas approached me, asking me about Karen Abigail. I requested her abandonment file to one of the court clerks and right there, agent Rivas and I examined the file, page by page, and he could see that the process was totally according to the law.

When the DA agent Rivas talked to me about the investigation of a girl named Anyeli Liseth, whose mother, Loyda, was one of the mothers supported by Fundacion Sobrevivientes, I said to him: "You have to do a DNA test to be sure that Karen Abigail is the same child as Anyeli Liseth and even if the DNA proves that they are the same girl, you have to check all the facts regarding the kidnapping. If the parents did not file a Police complaint the very same day, it must be because there was no kidnapping." Rivas said that they could not do a DNA of Loyda, "Because Sobrevivientes does not want to". As I started reading the documents of the trial, I became convinced that there was no kidnapping and that Anyeli's parents relinquished her or at least pretended to relinquish her, and in order to get her back, if they would want to do so, they filed the complaint at the Police station, the day after they claimed that Anyeli disappeared. Loyda has given two other versions of how her child disappeared, different from the version that the father of Anyeli gave to the Police. The Police investigator in charge of the disappearance of Anyeli Liseth died of asphyxia by immersion in April, 2007 and the original file with the picture of Anyeli brought by her father disappeared. It was replaced with copies brought by the DA who also provided a picture of the girl, who looks a lot older than the toddler who was Anyeli at that time.

The Criminal Process

The Ministerio Publico (District Attorney) has brought different charges (traffic of persons for irregular adoption, conspiracy, use of false documents) against the judge who ruled the abandonment of Karen Abigail, the PGN lawyers who acted in the abandonment process and in the adoption process, the lawyers who acted in the first adoption and the notary of the second adoption and the director of Association Primavera. Until August, the MP brought charges against Marvin Josúe Bran Galindo, for traffic of persons. He was linked to the process and allowed to post bail for less than ten thousand dollars. Petitions to grant the same privilege to Enriqueta, the director of Primavera have been rejected.

Because the DA would not ask for it, the defense of the director of Primavera, requested the court to do the DNA test of Loyda. The results proved that she was the mother of the girl who was DNA tested as "Karen Abigail" and who turned out to be her daughter Anyeli Liseth. The analysis of the DNA results of Felicita, Anyeli and Loyda proved that Felicita and Anyeli are paternal aunt and niece, and Anyeli and Loyda are daughter and mother. It was done by PTC Laboratories in Columbia, MO.

Since we do not have all the pieces of the puzzle, we do not know why it is that Loyda is claiming Anyeli to be her daughter, the girl we knew as Karen Abigail, when we know that Anyeli and Karen are two different girls. We say that they are not the same, because we know what Karen looks like and she is not the girl in the picture taken at the DNA test. Also, the Primavera caregivers agreed that the girl in that picture is not Karen and since she tested positive as Loyda's daughter, she must be Anyeli Liseth. Therefore, there never has been a DNA of Karen Abigail, who is the girl living in Missouri. It would help to settle this matter if we could get her DNA tested, to prove that she is a different girl than Anyeli Liseth and that she is not Loyda's daughter. Unfortunately, when her parents were approached by the Guatemalan Consulate, they said that they would talk to their lawyer and stopped accepting calls. They hired a lawyer who does not want to collaborate, for reasons that I cannot understand, since it is in the best interest of the family who hired her, to clear things up, in order to be assured that nobody is going to show at their doorstep, demanding that the girl be returned to Guatemala. One may think that it is very unlikely, but the possibility would always be present if they do not establish once and for all that Karen Abigail is not Anyeli Liseth.

This is not the first time that Loyda identified another girl as her daughter, but in this case she is using the pictures of a girl that looks a lot like Karen Abigail, to claim her as her lost daughter. Loyda justifies her inability at identifying Karen Abigail at the PGN interviews, by saying that the PGN employees asked her to leave the premises because her two boys were dirtying the floor, which is extremely hard to believe, since the parade of children being adopted was exclusively for the benefit of the mothers of missing children. She identified other girls as her daughter, whose adoptions were stopped. One of them is a girl named Dulce Maria, who was identified by Loyda as her daughter and who was removed from the orphanage where she was being cared for, despite the positive DNA of that girl and her birth mother.

There are many unsolved mysteries here: Since both girls look so different, why is Loyda claiming Karen Abigail as her daughter? Is she being compensated to pose as the grieving mother of Karen Abigail? Does she know where her daughter, Anyeli Liseth, actually is? From the DNA picture, Anyeli's parents must know who the woman is who went with Anyeli to that DNA test and why is it that they are not filing charges against her? Why is it that the District Attorney’s office will not even consider changing their position against the people who did the second adoption, since we had nothing to do with Anyeli Liseth, only with Karen Abigail? Why is it that the DA is treating the facilitator as a protected witness, when he admitted that he paid for Karen Abigail and he was the one who did the first attempted adoption? He’s who took the woman and the girl to the DNA test instead of Karen Abigail and her birth mother and yet he is cleared off the case after the DNA results turned out negative. Why? Doesn’t he have culpability here?

The whole case seems to be fabricated to implicate innocent people in several crimes. Meanwhile, the director of Primavera and the PGN lawyer who gave his favorable opinion to the abandonment ruling, are still in jail after more than four months! The seventeen children who were at the Primavera orphanage were abducted and taken to three different orphanages after the PGN decided that they were at risk, "because the director is in jail" How absurd, considering the five nannies who care for them during the day and the four who care for them in the night shift. So their adoptions are being investigated and their waiting families are wondering if they will ever become the parents of those children that they already love as their own. All these problems could be solved -- if only the family of Karen would allow her to be DNA tested. It is a pity that they are ill-advised and hurting so many people by refusing to do so. They have nothing to lose and a lot to gain. Wouldn’t it be nice to be sure that your daughter is not involved in this?

We have asked the DA to investigate further into the possibility that Karen and Anyeli are actually two different girls. We showed him the pictures of the two very different looking girls and begged him to ask Loyda who is the woman with her daughter in the DNA picture, and to DNA test Felicita. Felicita was located by the DA, and she claims that she had nothing to do with Karen Abigail, or with Anyeli Liseth, because her identity was stolen to record her birth and to go to the DNA. Thus far the DA has investigated the people they want to accuse of several crimes in connections with this case, ignoring finding the truth with many possible leads. We can only assume it’s because they do not want to exonerate us.

As an adoptive parent myself, I cringe at the possibility that someone would put the adoption of either of my children in jeopardy. But if I knew that the lives of so many good people are upside down because I refuse to let my child be DNA tested, especially knowing beforehand that there is nothing to lose and a lot to gain, I would not hesitate one second to take my child to the lab and have her tested right away. It’s the right thing to do.

We have been informed by the court that the DA wants Enriqueta to stand trial. Even though, in criminal cases, when there are doubts, like in this case tha there are doubts about the identity of Karen Abigail, it must be interpreted in favor of the accused. Not to mention the fact that all she did was comply with the court's ruling to place Karen Abigail for adoption. She broke no law, but she would have if she had disobeyed the order to place Karen Abigail up for adoption.

Thus far, both the DA and the judge have not changed their position despite the evidence presented by the defense of Enriqueta, namely, the picture of the girl taken at the DNA that does not match the face of the girl we know as Karen Abigail, the analysis done by PTC Laboratories that proves the kinship of Felicita to Anyeli, and the affidavit with the deposition under oath of the Primavera caregivers stating that the picture of the girl at the DNA is not of Karen Abigail.

As adoptive parents of a child of unknown origin, the MO couple must be responsible for the consequences of adopting a child in that situation and allow their daughter to be DNA tested. PTC Laboratories is located in MO, not far away from the place where they live, but the specimens can be collected at a nearby lab. The results would be matched with those of the girl first tested, and since the MO couple has a copy of those results, they would be the first to know if there is a match. If there is a match, that does not affect the current situation, since the authorities here are acting as if Karen and Anyeli were the same girl. But if the DNA results prove that Karen is not Anyeli, that would greatly help the people who took care of Karen Abigail and those who made her adoption possible. But most important, it would be the right thing to do.

Because the judge did not agree with the petitions filed by the MP to issue a warrant for the arrest of the notary of the adoption of Karen Abigail and for my own arrest, the Sobrevivientes lawyers requested the CICIG (a United Nations entity to oversee the processes for organized crime) to eliminate her of the list of candidates to be elected magistrates of the court of appeals by Congress. The judge did not like it and declared herself enemy of Sobrevivientes. We still do not know if the hearings scheduled on Monday, October 12th., to decide if Enriqueta goes to trial and our arraignment, on Tuesday, October 13th., will take place.