MEXICO CITY – Amnesty International on Thursday announced that it filed a case with the Mexican Attorney General’s Office regarding the alleged stealing of a baby during the Franco era in Spain, a child that was given to a family in eastern Mexico.
The case, filed on Wednesday, focuses on Ligia Ceballos, a Mexican who 15 years ago discovered that she had been born in Spain in 1968 with another identity and not in the city of Merida, in the eastern state of Yucatan, as she had thought up until then.
AI director in Mexico Tania Reneaum said that this is a case of forced disappearance involving Spanish officials and the “illegal holding” of a person, even though it happened almost 50 years ago.
Ligia’s case “may be (one) that can have important repercussions on the legal concept of the search for the truth,” and for setting a precedent regarding rights such as identity.
“We have confidence that the Mexican AG’s Office will have to develop and refine its ability” so that justice – using the truth – is done, Reneaum said.
Reneaum, citing a ruling by Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzon, estimated that between 1937-1950 some 30,000 babies could have disappeared in Spain via a process whereby the newborns were removed from their parents but the latter were told they had been born dead or died shortly after birth.
Doctors, health care workers, attorneys, officials and religious workers all participated in plots in which the death certificates of the children were falsified along with their birth certificates to be able to place them with other families, according to AI.