Thursday, 16 June 2011

Three 'stolen baby' remains exhumed by court order

Opened tombs (EuropaSur)
LA LINEA (EuropaSur) The National Police, by court order, exhumed the remains of three children it is suspected might have been stolen when they were born, and are on the list of 105 cases under investigation in the Campo de Gibraltar, mainly in La Línea. Exhumation took place at about 5pm last Tuesday, at the San José cemetery, behind closed doors and under intense police presence. The cases are sub judice. Aside from the judge investigating the cases, and his secretary, family members and technicians from the Scientific Police and other units were present. Cemetery employees had their mobile phones temporarily confiscated to avoid their taking photos of the goings on. According to reports, one of the tombs belonged to a baby born in 1971, and the other two, to children that died in 1988.>>>

The parents of the first one believed that their child had been intered but when, seven years later, they decided to transfer the coffin to another place they had bought, they discovered that no certificate of burial registration had ever been issued; so they had to be given that instead of a simple transfer document.

The other two cases go back to 1988 and although their burial is registered, the families believe that the babies could have been stolen for sale or given in adoption.

The police removed the remains in cardboard boxes. One of the tombs contained dust, another, the 1971 case, contained bones that aroused suspicion, and the third had just a few remains of bones. All will be carefully analysed by the Scientific Police and the DNAs compared with that of the families.

Francisco del Valle is the father of a male baby born  on July 7, 1971. He was there on Tuesday for the exhumation of his son. "We went through a very bad time. It was horrible, but we're pleased because the investigations are being speeded up; they're taking care of our case and doimng a good job to clear up doubts that vwe've had for forty years," said Del Valle. "If my son is alive, he will have made his life with another family. We don't want anything from him, just for him to know that we never abandoned him."

The baby supposedly died two hours after being born. "The midwife told us that the baby had died, that we shouldn't worry because we were young and could have more children. She even said that when a whale went through the Straits, children died at birth. In those days, because of our ignorance and the fact that you couldn't say anything [during the Franco dictatorship], we neither believed her nor disbelieved her," said the father. It was only because so many other people were demanding investigations that the family decided to act.

The exhumations ordered so far in La Línea have come to an end. There are one each orederd for Estepona, Algeciras and Taraguilla.
(If you type the words stolen babies in the Search facility at the top of the right sidebar, you can see how we have been following these many cases throughout Spain, but concentrating on the Campo de Gibraltar, where so many of them apparently took place.)

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