DURING Franco’s reign, it is thought that more than 2,000 babies were ‘stolen’ by nuns and midwives.
From 1939 the newborns of left-wing opponents of the regime or unmarried couples were removed from their mothers and adopted.
More often than not, mothers were told that their babies had died or were stillborn.
The system continued after Franco’s death in 1975 and into the 1980s as an illegal baby trafficking network.
A recent case, which was ignored by Spanish authorities, is the first-ever stolen baby case in Spain to reach the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg.
The case relates to a baby girl born in Málaga Civil Hospital on October 12, 1964, and whose family were told she had been stillborn.
No documentation has ever been found relating to her death or the circumstances involved.
The case has gone through the equivalent of the Crown Court and Magistrates’ Court in Málaga, the Provincial Court and now the Constitutional Court which, along with the
High Court of Justice, is the highest in the land.
In a separate case, the youth prosecution service in Alicante, part of the children’s protection court, has carried out around 15 exhumations of babies believed to have been
So far, all remains have been consistent with the paperwork, meaning they are yet to find any evidence of wrongdoing.