STOLEN BABIES

More nuns put under investigation in children-snatching scandal

Daughters of Charity members suspected of acting as go-betweens in baby-selling ring

More nuns from the Daughters of Charity order are under investigation for allegedly taking part in a stolen babies scheme at Madrid hospitals.

Sister María Gómez Valbuena, now 80, was called before a judge on April 13 to answer charges that she stole an infant girl from a mother and gave her to another family in the early 1980s. She is the only person who has been officially charged in the ongoing case, which has now grown to more than 1,500 complaints.

Among the suspects is Sister Juana Alonso, now 97, who served as mother superior of the order at the Daughters of Charity convent in Tenerife from 1951 to 1970.

"If they called Sister María to testify as a defendant in the case, then with more reason they should call Sister Juana, who used to take babies between the peninsula and the Canaries," says Liberia Hernández, who is accusing the nun of illegally putting her up for adoption in 1962.

Hernández claims that she was eight years old when she was given to the Alcoy family without her mother's consent. The mother, who had seven children to care for, took the girl to the convent as a temporary measure.

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