In Mexico, a 14-year-old girl named Alondra Luna Nunez was forcibly taken from her middle school by Interpol authorities acting on the behalf of a woman in America who claimed to be her mother. She was moved to a neighboring state to sit through an unusual trial, in which her parents, as well as Dorotea Garcia, the woman claiming to be her mother, were asked to present birth certificates and testify about the girl’s identity. The judge denied a request for a DNA test and ruled in favor of Garcia, and Alondra Luna Nunez was sent to Houston, Texas to live with her “real mother.” Now, DNA evidence proves the whole thing was a mistake.
Nunez’s actual mother, Susana Nunez, was understandably furious, telling a local TV channel, “They stole my daughter. I didn’t know this woman existed.”
According to the Associated Press, Dorotea Garcia had claimed that her daughter, Alondra Diaz Garcia, was illegally taken to Mexico by her father at age four. She still claims that this Alondra is her daughter.
“The people who know me don’t need me to give an explanation for what happened,” she said later to The Associated Press. “Whatever explanation I give won’t change the minds of people in Mexico or here.”
The case gained wider attention because Alondra Luna’s abduction by Interpol agents had been captured on video, and eventually the Foreign Ministry responded to outcries by requesting that the previously denied DNA test be fulfilled. When the test proved that the girl wasn’t actually Garcia’s daughter, she was sent back to her parents in Mexico.
Now, the game of identifying who messed up this case has begun, though no one seems to know who called Interpol from America, nor how Garcia decided that Alondra Luna was her daughter.
In 2007, the Foreign Ministry received a claim stating that Garcia’s then 4-year-old daughter, Alondra Diaz Garcia, had been taken by her father from the U.S. and was believed to be in Michoacan. This year, Garcia went to Mexico and said she had found her daughter in Guanajuato, prompting U.S. authorities to seek the help of Interpol in retrieving her.
Meanwhile, Alondra Diaz Garcia remains missing. Reynaldo Diaz is suspected of abducting her from Houston in 2007, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. A felony warrant has been issued for his arrest.
Alondra Luna’s family will most likely sue someone in all of this—it’s a case that makes you wonder if it’s really this easy for international authorities to just take someone’s child out of school and ship them to another country.
Contact the author at Hillary@jezebel.com.