Prodded by grieving parents, Spanish judges are investigating hundreds of charges that infants were abducted and sold for adoption over a 40-year period. What may have begun as political retaliation for leftist families during the dictatorship of Gen. Francisco Franco appears to have mutated into a trafficking business in which doctors, nurses and even nuns colluded with criminal networks.
The cases, which could eventually run into the thousands, are jolting a country still shaken by the spoken and unspoken terrors of Spain’s 1936-39 Civil War and Franco’s rule. Last week, 78-year-old Concepción Rodrigo Romero joined the rapidly growing ranks of Spanish parents who are turning to the courts to uncover the fates of their babies.
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Spain’s judiciary was forced into action after Anadir, an association formed to represent people searching for missing children or parents, filed its first complaints in late January. Attorney General Cándido Conde-Pumpido announced on June 18 that 849 cases were being examined, adding that 162 already could be classified as criminal proceedings because of evidence pointing to abductions.
The Angrier Adoptee, part 1
5 days ago