08 Jul 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.


Breaking: New Charges in Yajaira Noemí Muyus kidnapping for adoption case

Today, International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) released a statement today about progress in the “Yajaira Noemí Muyus” case. Juzgado Duodécimo de Primera Instancia Penal charged Guatemalan lawyer Juan Carlos Pinillos García and Procuraduría General de la Nación (PGN) official César Augusto Galicia Prera with conspiracy and trafficking in relation to the abduction and attempted illegal adoption of the little girl “Yajaira Noemí Muyus” (a created identity). Galicia Prera was also charged with dereliction of duty. CICIG is acting as a complimentary prosecutor on the case.

Judge Mario Fernando Peralta Castañeda, who has presided over the Minor’s Court of Ecuintla, is also linked to the case. Judge Peralta was previously stripped of his judicial immunity and is being investigated because of this case and that of a child adopted under the name “Karen Abigail Lopez Garcia.”

The prominent Guatemala adoption lawyer Susana Luarca Saracho is also linked to the case. According to CICIG, Luarca’s private nursery, Asociación Primavera, was responsible for bringing to the child ‘Yajaira Noemí Muyus’ before Judge Peralta to be declared “abandoned” and therefore available for adoption. The American adoptive family trying to adopt the child was given fake papers about her, says CICIG, and the child had also failed the required DNA test that was supposed to prove a biological connection to the women relinquishing her. CICIG is also investigating if one of Luarca’s business partners, adoption attorney Alma Beatriz Valle Flores de Mejía, is linked to the case.

Yajaira Noemí Muyus was recovered before she could be adopted under the false name to the United States, and today lives in Guatemala with her real biological mother.

Read more about the investigation into Judge Peralta here: “MP solicita antejucio contra Juez de Escuintla por varios delitos,” from elPeriódico

Download the CICIG statement here (en español): COMUNICADO DE PRENSA 045

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