14-Year-Old Girl Returned to Mexico After Forcibly Being Sent to Houston

| by Corinne Gaston

A 14-year-old Mexican girl who was pulled kicking and screaming from her secondary school by federal police on April 16 and sent to Houston, Texas, was returned to her family in Mexico on April 22.

A video of the altercation (below), which took place in the central state of Guanajuato, was circulated on social media and has garnered over 2,000 views on YouTube.

Alondra Luna had been caught in a case of mistaken identity; Dorotea Garcia, the woman to whom Luna was sent, said that her father, Reynaldo Diaz, had illegally taken her daughter to Mexico years ago. After a trip to Guanajuato this year, Garcia claimed that Luna was her child. Luna’s family members were insistent that the authorities were taking the wrong girl, but their pleas went ignored.

A distraught Luna was taken from her school and transported to a courtroom where her parents and Garcia presented birth certificates and gave testimony to the judge for Luna’s custody. The judge ruled in favor of Garcia, who then took Luna to Houston by bus.

"They stole my daughter," Susana Nunez told Milenio Television. "I didn't know this woman existed."

The Foreign Ministry had first received a request to return Garcia’s then 4-year-old missing daughter, Alondra Diaz Garcia, in 2007. The girl is still missing and her grandfather Diaz is suspected of kidnapping her from Houston that year, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. There is currently a U.S. felony warrant for his arrest.

After arriving in Houston, Luna recorded and uploaded a video in which she looks calm and tells her parents that they shouldn’t worry about her.

"I'm fine. I see that the United States is nice," said Luna in the video. "I don't understand anything they're saying, because everything is in English."

Authorities confirmed that Luna was not Garcia’s child after conducting a DNA test at the Mexican Consul’s office. Questions have been raised on the protocol of the case and why the DNA test was not performed before Luna was taken to Houston.

After the results of the DNA test came in, Luna was sent back to Mexico Wednesday morning and was taken for a medical exam. Her uncle Ruben Nunez has said that Luna is in good condition and that her family is likely to seek legal damages.

"In whatever form, they will try to sue whoever is found to be responsible," said Nunez to reporters in the airport. "It's not right what they did — take the girl just because they could."

Sources: CBS News, Yahoo News, The Guardian

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