Guatemala: CICIG Takes Action against Judge of Children and Adolescents

03/17/12 - JUSTICE!!!

The International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) yesterday filed a complaint with the Public Ministry against Rossana Maribel Guzman Mena, the first judge of Children and Adolescents and Adolescents in Conflict with the Law.


According to CICIG, the operator would have incurred justice prevarication, denial of justice, abuse of authority, suppression and alteration of civil status, usurpation of authority, failure to report, malicious delay, trafficking and abuse against children and adolescents.

The statement sent by that institution states that the petition includes similar actions in seven child protection processes.

CICIG argues that the judge deprived the children of their identity, did not respect the basic rules on domestic and international adoption and passed resolutions declaring the adoptability without complying with the requirements.


Checking documents

Do all APs read the child's documents thoroughly once they are home with the child? What are APs to do if certain people who have been in the news are on their documents? Either by a signature or processed the adoption? What happens when statements on the documents do not match up?What happens when a birth family search reveals that the documents were falsified? Where do APs turn to? What do they do?

Great questions!

I would hope in an investigated case like this, both the US and Guatemalan governments would somehow provide reliable resources for APs or adoptees to contact. 

Unfortunately, I myself don't know any direct answers or links for those with questions, as I struggled with my own found documents when I was an adult.   I described my own findings, through an adoptee's POV, in a piece I wrote last year:

For some, the search-process can be a very traumatic experience, especially if the adoptive parents turned out to be abusive/negligent and if all the stories told by adoptive family members (about birth parents, and conditions of where you once lived) do not match the information learned during a search. I for one can attest, nothing changes an adopted person's perspective more than that moment you discover your own documents and unfolding adoption story does not read as it should... AND the adopters chosen for you have gifted you years of disinterest, neglect, and/or profound abuse.

To make matters worse, there are not many support groups or trained therapists to help the struggling adoptee stuck dealing with this unfolding, life-changing, event. [God knows, I have tried to search and dig for years, and I have yet to find an adoption-friendly website or adoption support-group that provides the names and locations of free or affordable resources that are reliable and can assist the traumatized adult adoptee facing very complex adoption issues. Even PPL's Adult Aftermath section lacks this reliable resource information.]
<blank futile facial expression>

Readers must remember, the problematic encounters experienced by those adopted during the Closed Era of Adoption are not limited to adoptees past a certain age. The problems associated with corrupt adoption practices are not over. Thanks to adoption agencies serving as baby brokers legal liaisons for crisis pregnancy/birth centers, and thanks to child traffickers in foreign countries, child centers and orphanages are still receiving prime healthy infant material foreign adopters (with the required cash) want to have or 'rescue' through an affiliated adoption agency.

Today's foreign adoptable orphan, deprived of decent care, may not be what people think -- an orphan with no loving family. In addition, today's foreign adoptable orphan may not become what most want that 'saved' or 'rescued' child to become -- a grateful child who grows to be more than happy to have 'new' foreign parents, a thankful person who loves the country he was sent to, a well-spoken pro-international adoption advocate. Some may turn out to be angry adoptees, determined to go back to the mother-land and try to right some wrongs done to family members who lived in a dangerous, corrupt country, and got screwed by the international adoption industry.

In my own case, I tried contacting the adoption agency my APs used, but I was told the agency closed and burned down, with only a fraction of the records saved/remaining for future reference.  [See:  The miraculous inflammability of adoption records/documents ]   Since mine was an ICA, there were even more hoops to jump through just to get basic information, like a parent's name.  For instance, I had to find and provide documentation (visas) and contact the appropriate government agencies in Canada so my name could be put on an approval list that may or may not match me with my birth-mother.  [At the time, mothers in Canada would have to be on a similar search-list if they wanted their identity to be known.] 

To my knowledge, that was all I could do... knowing many of the documents I did have didn't seem to include my given birth-name or match expected dates.

Needless to say, I got nowhere fast, making my adoption story that much more of a disturbing mystery.

While the argument can be made that Closed Era Adoptions are not the same as Open Adoptions, the rules to illegal adoption don't seem to change.  If fraudulent/incorrect documents are produced for an adopter, how can anyone find and prove the truth, especially if the adoption agency used no longer exists?

This leads to a more distrubing scenario concerned people need to consider:  if adopters don't step-up and confess there may or might be reason to question the validity of given documentation, how will fraud-for-profitable-adoption ever stop?

What can an AP do?

Do all APs read the child's documents thoroughly once they are home with the child?

The answer is no, as evident in many postings on AP sites. A child who is adopted from Guatemala has many documents that an AP should be aware of:
-Cedula of the biomother (ID issued card)
-DNA results (original copies with photograph of mother and child, there is a set time of less than 5 days for chain of custody from the time the swab is taken to the specimen arriving at the lab in the US)
-Original Birth certificates for both biomother and child
-Original Mid Wife declaration of live birth, with Mid-wife registry number/name
-Social Worker report detailing economic status of the birth mother and family history, including names
-Certified and Registered Protocolo (document that the adoption was approved)
(*there are MANY adoptions that were NOT registered)
-Original NEW Birth certificate issued with the APs last name on it for the child
-Translated documents from Spanish to English approved by the US Embassy in Guatemala
-Documents MUST include a RAISED seal (specifically the Protocolo, New Birth Certificate and Translated Documents)

What are APs to do if certain people who have been in the news are on their documents?

PPL has an extensive list of attorneys, facilitators, orphanage directors, jaladores and judges who have been arrested. APs need to question the validity of their documents if such people do appear on their documents:
Susana Luarca :

Aida Marizuya Rabasso:

Marvin Bran Galindo:

Mirla Sabrina Donis Hernandez:

Athanasios Kollias (Teo):

Helen de Rosal:

Aida Gutierrez de Madrid (DNA):

*Please note the list is long, these are not the only names/attorneys that should be suspect, as the jaladores (baby/child haulers are not listed).

What happens when statements on the documents do not match up?

Contacting your agency (if it is still open) for starters. Keep in mind, many agencies morphed into new agencies.
Contact the person who directed the agency.
Contact your State's Attorney General
Contact your State's Adoption Agency Licensing Board
Contact DOS and USCIS and file a complaint.
Contact the Hague evaluators and file a report at:

Council On Accreditation’s website (

(*for helpful How-to's see:

What happens when a birth family search reveals that the documents were falsified?

This is occurring to families who have tried to do a birth family search. Postings on Yahoo's Guatemala Birthfamiles sites have APs sharing their story as well as on many FB pages. (It is interesting to note that the site owner of Yahoo's Guatemala Birthfamilies is Caroline Tiffin, adoption attorney and agency owner of Palmetto Hope. A site where APs share what searchers they used to contact the child's birthfamily for a visit).

If a search reveals that the documents were falsified, then the child's adoption is null.
The US Visa was issued to a child with a laundered identity and false documents.
The adoption is not a legal one.

Where do APs turn to? What do they do?

It is up to the AP to make the necessary contacts to US and Guatemalan officials.
It is also up to the AP to one day tell their child the truth about their adoption.
Contacting the group Fundacion Sobrevivientes: andón-Sobrevivientes/115738348496365 is a beginning. Many birthmothers have contacted Norma Cruz in hopes of finding their child. Children should not be denied this right to be with their family. However painful the reality is for the AP, you will lose more if your child finds out when they are an adult that you knew and did not tell them and kept them away from their family or their true identity.

The reality that families are looking for their child IS a reality. Some have never stopped:

Letter from the 4 Mothers:

Guatemala - Maria Fernanda and Ana Christina Alvarado case:

Guatemala - Ricardo Borz (Osmin Ricardo Tobar Ramirez) and his brother Jeffrey

And yes Kerry, it IS a disturbing scenario, if APs have falsified documentation then they need to speak up.

Photocopies vs. Original Documents

So are you saying that the documents need to be original documents with raised seals and NOT just photocopies?

Thank you for posting this.

Future reference

Let me put it this way:  try getting a valid US passport with a photocopied BC.  [See:  First Time Applicants and read carefully the acceptable documents an applicant must have; then go to Secondary Evidence of U.S. Citizenship, if you happen to be like me, born outside of the USA and have only a copied BC.]

I can assure you, based on my own experience with said nightmare situation, finding acceptable documents and going through this process is neither easy nor fun. 

Pound Pup Legacy