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Guatemala. L'armée a volé des enfants et les a vendus pour adoption, conclut un rapport du gouvernement.

Guatemalan army stole children for adoption, report says.JPGBeaucoup de ces enfants volés, puis adoptés, ont été retrouvé aux États-Unis, en Suède, en Italie et en France, a déclaré l'auteur du rapport et chercheur principal, Marco Tulio Alvarez.
Dans certains cas, "les parents ont été tués pour leur prendre leurs enfants et permettre aux agences gouvernementales de les faire adopter à l'étranger". Dans d'autres, "les enfants ont été enlevés sans faire de mal aux parents".

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, 5000 of them were 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.

A presidential ministry has determined that about 45,000 people disappeared during the nation's civil war, which lasted from 1960 to 1996. About 5,000 of those were children, the ministry said. Another 200,000 people died in the conflict between the leftist guerrillas and right-wing governments.

The nation's public ministry and attorney general's office will determine whether anyone is prosecuted over the abductions, Alvarez said.

Asked if he would like to see prosecutions, Alvarez answered, "I hope so."

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.

Guatemala has the world's highest per capita rate of adoption and is one of the leading providers of adoptive children for the United States. Nearly one in 100 babies born in Guatemala end up with adoptive parents in the United States, according to the U.S. consulate in Guatemala.

Adoptions can cost up to $30,000, providing a large financial incentive in a country where the World Bank says about 75 percent of the people live below the poverty level. Officials fear that often times mothers are paid -- or coerced -- into giving up their children.

Some unscrupulous lawyers and notaries, who have greater power in Guatemala than they do in the United States, have taken advantage of the extreme poverty and limited government oversight over adoptions to enrich themselves. Alvarez said corrupt lawyers and notaries were the driving force behind many of the army abductions of children.

The problem is confounded because many Guatemalan parents can't provide for their children. The United Nations' World Food Programme says Guatemala has the fourth highest rate of chronic malnutrition in the world and the highest in Latin America and the Caribbean. Chronic undernutrition affects about half of the nation's children under the age of 5, the U.N. agency said.

Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom Caballeros declared a state of national calamity this week because so many citizens do not have food or proper nutrition.

Despite the nation's problems, Alvarez hopes some good will come of the report, which was released Thursday.

"We have to tell the truth about what happened," he said. "Guatemalan society must know what happened and must never allow it to happen again."

Source : Guatemalan army stole children for adoption, report says. CNN.


Guatemala: des enfants volés puis vendus à l'étranger par des soldats.

Publié et traduit en français par Kim Myung-Sook sur le blog Fabriquée en Corée.


L'armée guatémaltèque admet le trafic d'enfants à des fins d'adoption.

When it comes to talking about the human rights abuses that took place during their long and painful civil war, the Guatemalan military has acted like a cat next to a bathtub: willing to make a lot of noise but not jump in to the issue at hand. Surprisingly, however, the Guatemalan army has finally admitted to kidnapping and selling hundreds of children in international adoptions from 1977 to 1989.

If you're not up on your Guatemalan history, here's the over-simplified version: From the 1960 to 1996, Guatemala was engaged in a bloody, brutal civil war between right-wing, pro-Reaganonmics type government and the left-wing, Che-had-the-right-idea type insurgents. Over 200,000 people were killed or "dissapeared" by the government and the insurgents committed their share of murders and rapes as well. Human rights were about as well-respected as Paris Hilton's quantum physics term paper. And throughout the whole bloody mess, the army kidnapped kids and sold them as part of "international adoptions" both as a way to generate revenue and punish parents who spoke out against the government.

International adoption in Guatemala is nothing new; it has been a source of income there for decades. The chaos and brutality of the civil war meant less regulation of the army's activities and more opportunities for abuse. Guatemala has the highest per capita adoption rate in the world and is a leading provider of children for adoption to the U.S. In fact, 1 in 100 babies born in Guatemala are eventually adopted to parents in the U.S. who are willing to pay up to $30,000 in fees for a child. This money is a huge financial incentive in a country where 75% of the people live below the poverty level and $30,000 may represent untold hope for a desperate family. Advocates fear that mothers may be coerced, financially or politically, into putting their children up for adoption. Similarly, child advocates want to be sure children aren't being adopted into families which will abuse or exploit them.

The issue of international adoption as a front for human trafficking is international, and has affected several countries, including Guatemala. Romania actually banned international adoptions because the problems with exploitation were so severe. Many international agencies and the U.S. government have since asked Romania to lift or relax the ban, since the country cannot support the number of children who need care and Western families are eager to adopt Romanian children. There are a number of model policies for how to screen potential families and set up protective mechanisms to prevent children from being adopted by unscrupulousindividuals and couples. There are not, however, very many model policies for how to prevent mothers from being coerced into giving up their children. That is an area the international adoption community should look into more thoroughly.

It takes some guts to admit that you did something as heinous as kidnap kids for political reasons and then sell them for profit, but the Guatemalan army did the right thing by telling the truth. Their revelation has helped hundreds of families reunite with lost children, most of whom are now adults. It has also shed light on the important issue of international adoption used as a front for trafficking, which will hopefully help other countries identify policy measures to take in order to protect both mothers and children.

Écrit par : collectif aa | 22/09/2009


Une mise en garde pleine de tact
des récits vécus proposés par Françoise Rodary

Nos enfants en otage

La perte d’un enfant, son vol, sa captation
L’enfant comme enjeu d’un conflit entre adultes

Je souhaite vous informer de la sortie d'une série de récits propres à intéresser vos adhérents. Frédérique Ferrand, professeur à la Faculté de droit de l’Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3, membre de la commission européenne de droit de la famille (CEFL) en a rédigé la préface.

Merci de bien vouloir relayer l’information, si vous la jugez utile.
Bien cordialement à vous.

Francoise Rodary
Co-auteur du Sang des Femmes : la sage-femme, Prix Pergaud 2008.

Nos enfants en otage
• Broché: 226 pages
• Editeur : Editions Pascal (18 février 2010)
• Langue : Français
• ISBN-10: 2350190765
• ISBN-13: 978-2350190761

Écrit par : francoise | 16/02/2010