By BJ Bjornson
At this point, it is rather hard to be shocked by yet another abuse of power by the Catholic Church, but the scale of this crime still somehow managed it for me.
Spanish society has been shaken by allegations of the theft and trafficking of thousands of babies by nuns, priests and doctors, which started under Franco and continued up to the 1990s.
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The scale of the baby trafficking was unknown until this year, when two men - Antonio Barroso and Juan Luis Moreno, childhood friends from a seaside town near Barcelona - discovered that they had been bought from a nun. Their parents weren't their real parents, and their life had been built on a lie.
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Lawyers believe that up to 300,000 babies were taken.
The practice of removing children from parents deemed "undesirable" and placing them with "approved" families, began in the 1930s under the dictator General Francisco Franco.
At that time, the motivation may have been ideological. But years later, it seemed to change - babies began to be taken from parents considered morally - or economically - deficient. It became a money-spinner, too.
The scandal is closely linked to the Catholic Church, which under Franco assumed a prominent role in Spain's social services including hospitals, schools and children's homes.
Nuns and priests compiled waiting lists of would-be adoptive parents, while doctors were said to have lied to mothers about the fate of their children.
Up to 300,000 babies taken away from their mothers, and that same number of mothers traumatized by the supposed �death� of their child. Worse to me is the fact that sounds as though there will be no accountability for this crime.
After Franco's death in 1975, the major political parties agreed an amnesty to help smooth the transition to democracy.
But this amnesty law has never been repealed, so attempts to investigate Spain's baby trafficking as a national crime against humanity have been rejected by the country's judiciary and resisted by its politicians.
The child-stealing, and the profiting from such, continued on well past 1975. I�d say it�s long past time that the people behind this, and the organizations who supported them, are brought to account for this.