JUlIO  2009




July 22, 2008 (Feminist International Radio Endeavour FIRE)  The painful testimonies of three Guatemalan mothers whose baby daughters were stolen from them in 2006 and presumably sent to the United States for adoption offer vivid evidence that international adoptions under questionable conditions from that country need to be urgently addressed.  

As they enter into their ninth day of a hunger strike, the director of the Survivors´ Foundation in Guatemala, Norma Cruz, together with three mothers are demanding the return of their daughters who disappeared and were ¨adopted¨ under questionable conditions, and later sent to the United States. The mothers are Olga López, Loyda Rodríguez y Raquel Par.

Their hunger strike which began nearly 200 hours ago on July 15th, is being carried out front of the Supreme Court of Justice in Guatemala City, to emphasize their demands for the return of their daughters.  

Arlene was just six months old when she was stolen on September 26, 2006, from her mother, Olga Lopez.  Angely was taken from Loyda Rodruguez on November, 2006.  And Heidy Batz was 11 months old when she was stolen from her mother, Raquel Par in April 2006.

The three mothers and Cruz have been on hunger strike for 192 hours or eight days with no resolution yet.  What they seek, according to Cruz, is to nullify the adoptions of the three girls, whom are presumed to have been taken away illegally.  

In an interview to FIRE today Cruz stated that they are calling on the judges of the courts that are looking into the flawd adoption cases to act according to the law. ¨The Supreme Court must let them know that they have to acto accordingly and with celerity¨ she insisted. 

In May 2008 these same mothers along with another, Ana Escobar undertook in May 2008 a hunger strike, together with Cruz, outside of the National Palace of Culture to push for the return of their daughters. On that occasion in July 2008 Ana Escobar recovered her daughter Esther just as she was about to be adopted by a foreigner.  The girl had been stolen from her mother on March 26, 2006  in circumstances similar to the other three cases currently being taken to Court. 

Since January 2008, the adoptions of Guatemalan children are approved by the National Council of Adoptions, a multi-sectoral entity created by the Parliament in December, 2007.

Until this date, adoptions were often conducted through extrajudicial processes and private legal authorities, which generated millions of dollars.

Before the Adoption Council was established in early 2008, estimates by the National General Procuraduría about 5,000 children were adopted each year, the majority to families in the United States who do not necessarily know how their adopted children were placed in adoption. 

On March 11, 2009 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave Norma Cruz the Women of Courage Award for her outstanding work in Sobrevivientes.  She was one of eight women of the world who received the honor.

Sobrevientes is a Non Governmental Organization (NGO) that provides legal, emotional and social support to victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse and to their families. They also support women whose children  have been stolen for international adoption.  

Listen to Norma Cruz on FIRE in Spanish at

(End FIRE)

What YOU can do:

1.      Demand to the Supreme Court that the cases are resolved so that the girls can return to their mothers as soon as possible.

2.      Write to the Guatemalan Supreme Court demanding that they address the cases immediately so that health of the mothers and activist on strike can be immediatley restored.       

3.      Support the work of Sobrevivientes in their claims of children adopted before the 2008 legislation.

4.      Inform families in the United States who adopted Guatemalan babies before 2008 about the procedures of adoptions so that they can help the Guatemalan mothers and families of the children taken without their consent. 

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