Guatemalan army stole children for adoption

Very disturbing report that will definitely affect families in the U.S. From CNN. Many of us already suspected that this happened, since it has happened in many other civil wars/conflicts in Europe, South and Central America.

The Guatemalan army stole at least 333 children and sold them for
adoption in other countries during the Central American nation's
36-year civil war, a government report has concluded.

Around 45,000 people are believed to have disappeared during Guatemala's civil war, 5,000 of them children.

Around 45,000 people are believed to have disappeared during Guatemala's civil war, 5,000 of them children.

Many of those children ended up in the United States, as well as
Sweden, Italy and France, said the report's author and lead
investigator, Marco Tulio Alvarez.

In some cases, the report
said, parents were killed so the children could be taken and given to
government-operated agencies to be adopted abroad. In other instances,
the children were abducted without physical harm to the parents.

"This was a great abuse by the state," Alvarez told CNN on Friday.

Investigators started examining records in May 2008 for a period that
spanned from 1977-89, said Alvarez, the director of the Guatemalan
Peace Archive, a commission established by President Alvaro Colom.

Of 672 records investigators looked at, Alvarez said, they determined
that 333 children had been stolen. The children were taken for
financial and political reasons, he said.

Alvarez acknowledges
that many more children possibly were taken. Investigators zeroed in on
the 1977-89 period because peak adoptions occurred during that time
frame, particularly in 1986. They will investigate through 1995 and
hope to have another report ready by early next year, he said.

Alvarez said he has attended several reunions of abducted children — now adults — and family members.

"I can't tell you how happy that makes me," he said.

"Adoption has served as a source of income in Guatemala for decades. The
war just made it easier for abuses at the hands of soldiers to occur."

You can read the rest of the article here.

Author: JaeRan

Assistant professor at UW Tacoma, writer, and researcher.

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