Mexico Gripped by Custody Case and Mistaken Identity

Mexico City (AFP) – In a custody case gripping Mexico, a Texas woman had an emotional reunion with a girl believed to be her daughter after authorities forcibly sent the wrong girl to the United States.

Dorotea Garcia, who flew in from Houston on Tuesday, said she embraced 13-year-old Alondra in the western state of Michoacan, eight years after her then husband took her daughter away.

“It was great, the best chemical response. We couldn’t help but feel the impulse to run into each other’s arms,” Garcia told reporters after leaving a Michoacan court early Wednesday.

They met in court in Los Reyes to see the same judge who erroneously sent another child to Houston in April, even though the girl and her real parents insisted she was making a mistake. DNA tests later proved it was the wrong Alondra.

Dorotea had identified the wrong girl because she shared a scar between the eyebrows with her real daughter.

Seeking to avoid another embarrassing mixup, judge Elodia Mercado Garcia said a DNA test is being conducted, even though the family and the girl herself say it is the right Alondra this time.

The mother and girl plan to travel to Houston together once the DNA tests confirm her identity. Results are expected by Friday.

The custody battle began in 2007 when Alondra Garcia’s father brought her to Mexico from the United States. Dorotea requested help from Mexican authorities to get her back.

The father, Reynaldo Diaz, brought the girl to her aunt’s house in Michoacan this week so she could finally be reunited with her mother.

“I’m sad for everything that has happened,” Alondra Garcia told the US Spanish-language network Univision.

“I was happy with my dad. But at the same time I felt like something was missing. I was missing my mother’s love,” she said, adding that she is not angry at her father.

Dorotea Garcia said she would withdraw charges against her ex-husband at their daughter’s request.

Michoacan prosecutors and the National Human Rights Commission have opened separate investigations into the actions of authorities after the wrong Alondra was sent to Texas.


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