Guatemala Sentences 2 in US Adoption Case

October 27, 2011

From ABC News:

A Guatemalan court sentenced two women to 16 and 21 years in prison on Monday for trafficking a stolen baby who was given for adoption to a U.S. family.

Special prosecutor Lorena Maldonado said the sentences handed down to a lawyer and the legal representative of an adoption agency will reinforce the birth mother’s bid to get her daughter returned from the United States.

“Even though the criminal proceedings are separate from the adoption process, these sentences help, and confirm the argument of the mother, Loyda Rodriguez, that this girl is her daughter and was stolen from in front of her house, and that there is a criminal structure in Guatemala that steals children,” said Maldonado.

The Eighth Penal Tribunal sentenced lawyer Beatriz Valle Flores to 21 years in prison for human trafficking, criminal association and using false documents. She signed papers in the adoption.

A 16-year sentence went to the legal representative of the adoption agency, Enriqueta Noriega Cano, where the girl spent a year before being adopted. The girl left the country on Dec. 9, 2008.

Both women were also ordered to pay 100,000 quetzales ($25,600) apiece to the mother for damages.

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