The first trial of “stolen babies” opens Tuesday in Spain, decades after broke out scandal of newborns removed from their mother to be entrusted to adoptive families under the regime of Franco.
Eduardo Vela, 85, former obstetrician at the San Ramon Clinic in Madrid, is accused by Ines Madrigal, a 49 year-old railway employee, of separating her from her biological mother and falsifying her birth certificate in June 1969. This doctor, long denounced by the press and associations, is the first to sit on the dock, thanks to the testimony of the mother of Ines Madrigal, Ines Perez, who has just died.
Ines Perez, who could not have children, said that Dr. Vela had offered her a baby. He had asked her to simulate a pregnancy and then declared her the biological mother of the newborn. Before the investigating judge, he admitted in 2013 that he had signed “without looking” at the medical file indicating that he attended the delivery. “I am registered as a girl of a sterile woman who has never given birth,” sums up Ines Madrigal.
Cases like this one could be count in tens, even hundreds of thousands according to the militant associations whiche fight since 2010 to see more clear on this horrible traffic which began under the dictatorship of Francisco Franco (1939-1975), and often with the complicity of the Catholic Church. The children were removed from their parents after the birth, declared dead without proof and adopted by sterile couples, preferably close to the “national-Catholic” regime.
Like Cristina Moracha, who was told by the staff of a maternity hospital in Madrid a few days after giving birth in May 1984 that her baby was dead, without showing her the body or burial. “I was told to stop crying, and that I already had a 15 month-old girl who needed me. Also that I was young and that I would have other children.
But, despite the scale of the scandal, denounced for the first time in the press in 1982, none the 2,000 complaints has been successful.
It is the fact of having allowed this pioneering trial that pushes Inès Madrigal to continue, with the hope that the decision makes precedence, for “that it does not serve only tome but to many others waiting behind me “. But, after so many years, resignation is coming over the families. The protagonists disappear over the years, like the nun Maria Gomez Valbuena, often described as the head of the traffic in Madrid, and died before being judged.