24 May 2011

The Author

Author of the award-winning book Finding Fernanda. Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism. Redux Pictures photographer. Read more here.


Senator Landrieu Responds

After contacting Senator Mary Landrieu’s office last week, her Deputy Press Secretary, Ellie Atkins, emailed me on Friday May 20, 2011 with a response from the Senator:

“I am in direct communication with CICIG and have submitted for their review a list of my questions and concerns about some of the findings in their report.  Many people in good faith are working to resolve the several hundred adoption cases “in transition” as well as establish for Guatemala a model child welfare system which includes domestic and international adoption for children in need of a family.

I want to restate that both the governments of Guatemala and the United States, and all governments for that matter, must have a “zero tolerance” policy when it comes to allowing for illegal or unethical conduct in the processing of adoptions.  Compliance with a “zero tolerance” policy requires the government of Guatemala to both craft and enforce laws which criminalize any and all activities that go against the very nature and purpose of adoption, which is to protect and support a child in need of a family.”

The bold-faced, italicized font is the Senator’s.

So what next? I’ve asked a CICIG source what this list of “questions and concerns” looked like. I’m very curious about the inclusion of the “zero tolerance” bit– does this mean that Senator Landrieu might actually get involved in helping come to a resolution- or help facilitate an American investigation- into the alleged kidnapping-for-adoption cases that the Guatemalan authorities are trying to figure out?

  1. The Senator proclaimed in the Guatemala “Prensa Libre” that that criminal prosecution is critical. It would seem only logical that she would be a supporter of the three DNA tests–why not? But then, complicity is a critical component to impunity. Now, we see if there is a real political will…

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