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Copyright 2014 by Attorney Carlos Gamino
Dorotea Garcia is the mother of 13-year-old Alondra Diaz. Alondra’s father, Reynaldo Diaz, took the girl to Mexico in 2007 after he and Garcia divorced. Reynaldo took his daughter, a natural-born U.S. citizen, without her mother’s knowledge or consent. Until recently, the child’s whereabouts were unknown.
A Judge’s Mistake
A Mexican judge recently ruled, in error, that 14-year-old Alondra Luna was the missing girl. The judge ordered Luna into Garcia’s custody. Luna screamed and desperately resisted as police dragged her out of school; video footage of this scene was widely circulated in the local media.
The Mexican judge denied requests from Luna and her family for DNA tests, saying it was not within the court’s authority.
Luna didn’t return to her family in Guanajuato until DNA tests showed she and Garcia were not related. The judge has, to date, not responded to requests by the family for an apology.
The “Real” Alondra
Meanwhile, Alondra Diaz had been in Mexico with her father, often asking about her mother’s whereabouts. The media attention to this heartbreaking case prompted Mr. Diaz to deliver Alondra to relatives who contacted the authorities and asked that she be allowed to live with her mother once again. Here, the judge waited for DNA confirmation that this Alondra was Garcia’s true daughter.
Garcia and her daughter had an emotional reunion recently in a courtroom in Los Reyes, Michoacán. The family seems to agree that Alondra will be able to visit with her father periodically. Diaz says that while she will miss her father, she is looking forward to learning English and living her life in the United States.
It may be difficult to understand how it all began, and why DNA evidence wasn’t used to resolve the issue before tearing an innocent girl from her loving family, but it seems both families are happily reunited with their loved ones—the correct ones.
Cases of mistaken identity can range from amusing to tragic. Often, misfortune can befall an innocent person… particularly if the initial mistake isn’t realized or corrected before further events unfold.
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