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Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Doctor on trial over Spain 'stolen babies' scandal

BBC News 

When an 85-year-old gynaecologist goes on trial in Madrid on 26 June accused of abducting a baby, thousands of victims of a sinister, sprawling network of illegal adoptions will be looking for answers.

They will also be hoping that the case triggers wider investigations into the scandal.

Dr Eduardo Vela will become the first person to stand trial for what victims' groups claim was a secret practice that saw hundreds of thousands of babies stolen and sold under the dictatorship of Gen Francisco Franco and after his death in 1975. 

In the years immediately after Spain's 1936-1939 civil war, children were removed from families identified by the victorious fascist regime as Republicans and given to families considered more deserving. 

Little was known about the private trafficking of babies that continued in the 1960s until two men went public with their story in 2011.

Antonio Barroso and Juan Luis Moreno revealed they had been bought by their respective fathers from a priest in Zaragoza.

Mr Barroso, who founded the association Anadir (National Association for Irregular Adoption Victims) calculates that 15% of adoptions in Spain between 1965 and 1990 were the result of babies being taken without consent from their biological parents.
That would amount to some 300,000 people.

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