New girl in US-Mexico custody case

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Alondra Luna Nunez was in distress as police officers dragged her out of school
A teenager has appeared in a court in Mexico saying she is Alondra Diaz Garcia, the girl at the centre of a US-Mexico custody battle.

Alondra Diaz Garcia was taken from Houston to Mexico by her father eight years ago after a US court awarded custody to the girl’s mother.

Alondra’s mother, Dorotea Garcia, has been searching for her since.

Last month, another Mexican girl was mistaken for Alondra and taken against her will to Ms Garcia in the US.

Mistake

The video showing the 14-year-old girl, called Alondra Luna Nunez, in distress as she is seized by police and dragged away from her school caused outrage after it was published on social media.

Ms Garcia had mistaken her for her daughter because the two girls share the same first name, are of a similar age and bear a similar scar.

Alondra Luna Nunez was sent to Houston, where Ms Garcia lives, even though the girl and her family insisted all along there had been a mistake.

“The other girl had a scar, but on the eyebrow, and I have one on my nose,” Alondra Luna Nunez told the Associated Press.

“I mean, all this was stirred up over that.”

The local judge in Mexico had refused to carry out a DNA test before sending her to the US, saying that was not within the court’s remit.

Timeline:

1 June 2007: Alondra Diaz Garcia, 5, is taken by her father from Houston to Mexico without her mother’s permission after the couple split and a court awarded custody to the mother

14 April 2015: Alondra Luna Nunez is seized by police at her school and handed to the Mexican authorities

16 April 2015: Alondra Luna Nunez is flown to Houston after a judge ruled she should be handed to Dorotea Garcia

20 April 2015: DNA tests carried out on Alondra Luna Nunez and Dorotea Garcia show they are not related

22 April 2015: Alondra Luna Nunez is flown back to Mexico and re-united with her family

11 May 2015: A 13-year-old girl presents herself at a court in Michoacan saying she is Alondra Diaz Garcia

DNA tests carried out in Houston eventually revealed Alondra Luna Nunez was not Ms Garcia’s daughter.

The girl was flown back to Mexico, where she was re-united with her parents.

Meanwhile, Ms Garcia said she would not give up the search for her daughter, of whom she had had no news since the girl was five.

‘Something missing’

On Monday, a 13-year-old girl appeared in a court in the western state of Michoacan along with her aunt and grandmother saying she was Alondra Diaz Garcia.

The girl told local media that she had been “happy with my Dad, but at the same time I felt there was something missing”.

“I have missed my mother’s affection because I have not seen her for so long,” she said.

Her relatives said her father had decided to hand her over after he saw coverage of the confusion over Alondra Luna Nunez in the media.

Mexican officials are now expected to conduct DNA test to confirm whether the girl is indeed the daughter of Dorotea Garcia.

BBC © 2015

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