Spanish baby snatching ring
Posted: 13 April 2012 by Rob Dabrowski
A Spanish nun has become the first person to appear in court in connection with a massive baby-snatching ring.
Sister Maria Gomez Valbuena, 80, is accused of stealing a mother's newborn daughter at a Madrid hospital in 1982.
It is claimed that the kidnapping was part of a vast church-involved baby-trafficking ring in which newborns were stolen from poor mothers and sold into adoption.
More than 1000 families said Sister Maria was part of a nationwide baby-snatching ring dating back four decades to the time of Franco’s rule.
It is claimed that the ring – believed to be responsible for thousands of baby thefts – involved hundreds of doctors, nurses, priests, nuns and midwives.
Lawyers say Catholic priests and nuns acted as middlemen, paying hospitals workers for babies and then selling them on to families.
Appearing before a judge yesterday (12 April), Sister Maria invoked her right to remain silent and refused to testify.
The alleged that the thefts started in the 1936-39 Spanish Civil War, but is claimed they continued into the 1990s.
Since the 1980s, the Spanish authorities have investigated hundreds of complaints related to the events, but many have been dismissed due to a lack of evidence.
The stories have been well-documented in the Spanish media and in one infamous case, it is claimed workers at a Madrid clinic kept a dead newborn in the freezer, which they would show to mothers to prove their baby had died.