Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Trafficked babies returned to moms

05 June 2012, 08:55

 Mexico City - Mexican authorities have returned to their biological mothers all but one of the babies ensnared in an apparent illegal adoption ring providing children to Irish couples, the women's lawyers said.

Attorney Yuri Marquez said Jalisco state authorities returned 10 of the 11 babies to their families last week. The children had been in the custody of the state's protective services since January, when prosecutors opened an investigation after detaining a 21-year-old woman who was accused of "renting" one of her children.

Prosecutors are still running DNA tests on the remaining baby to confirm who her mother is, Marquez said.

The state restored custody to the parents after determining the mothers were tricked into believing their babies were being photographed for an anti-abortion ad campaign, while in reality the children were really being shown to Irish couples looking to adopt.

"The judge was able to see that far from being members of organised crime they are victims, they were tricked," Marquez said.

Poor neighbourhood

Federal prosecutors took over the case, but would not comment on Monday on the status of the charges. Marquez said seven people are still in federal custody, among them two women who the mothers said scoured a poor neighbourhood in the outskirts of the western city of Guadalajara looking for babies.

The 21-year-old woman first detained in the case and the grandmother of another baby, who was accused of knowingly taking part in the scheme, were released from prison six weeks ago for lack of evidence, Marquez said.

Police are also looking for at least two lawyers with the Guadalajara law firm of Lopez Lopez y Asociados who were allegedly processing the adoptions in neighbouring Colima state.

The mothers said they signed contracts with a law firm to allow their children to be photographed in different places in Jalisco state for advertising purposes. They told investigators that the babies were taken for up to 15 days at a time and that they received 500 pesos ($36) a day as payment.

People working for the lawyers would take the children to a hotel in Guadalajara where they met with Irish couples who believed they were going to adopt the babies. The couples then took the children to the town of Ajijic, a lakeside resort popular with American and Canadian retirees, where they were staying while the adoptions were finished.

A lead investigator told reporters in January the illegal adoption ring may have been operating for years. In this case, the Irish couples apparently paid the lawyers to search for a baby, to get the custody and to pay for the biological mother's prenatal care. It's not clear whether previous adoptions by Irish people with the same firm followed the pattern.

Cruz Guadalupe Gutierrez Moreno, 20, said she agreed to have her baby girl, who was born with weak lungs, take part in the alleged anti-abortion campaign so she could pay for the girl's medical attention.

"I was filled with joy when they told us our nightmare was over," Gutierrez said in a telephone interview about regaining custody. "She knows me and seems happy. The only problem now is that I don't have money for her medicine."


Tags mexico

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...