When she turned 18 in 1987, the one she thought was her mother, Inés Pérez, confessed that she was not. He revealed to her that she was adopted and that, in the process, a priest who knew of the convent in which he had lent a hand and who was a friend of Dr. Eduardo Vela had intervened. "I went to see him and the priest told me that my mother was a girl who could not have me, without further explanations," he said. the daughter, Inés Madrigal, to this newspaper, which is now 49 years old.
Madrigal asked for Vela's phone and for years he passed it from one phone book to another, not daring to dial. "Until in 2010 I saw in EL PAÍS an article about stolen babies and the San Ramón clinic, where I was born." Years later, Madrigal would end up becoming the protagonist of the first trial of stolen babies in Spain, in the woman who sat on the bench Vela and the first recognized victim of the plot of sale of children. This Monday, the Provincial Court of Madrid has released the ruling: Dr. Vela is guilty of three crimes but has been acquitted on prescription.
In his complaint, made in 2012, Madrigal provided the DNA test that shows that Pérez was not his mother and the birth certificate signed by Vela in which he says he is. And he denounced his adoptive mother to speed up the process. "I said, 'I'm going to have to report you, mother.' She understood that it was the best way to help me and we agreed that if, at some point she changed her mind, I would withdraw the complaint, "she explained.
At that time, Inés Pérez was almost 90 years old and they thought that, although they would surely impute it -as it happened-, given their advanced age, there would be no consequences. "He was very brave. We are here thanks to her. " Pérez recognized Vela in a confrontation. He pointed to him as the man who explained how to fake a pregnancy – "He told me to pretend he was nauseous and simulated his belly with a cushion …" – and like the doctor who, after giving him a baby as a "gift", She gave some papers where she was the biological mother of the child. When, in court, they showed Vela the false birth certificate, the doctor acknowledged his signature as a birth attendant. "I did not know what I signed," he said. Vela denied knowing Inés Pérez, although she did admit a "medical relationship" with the priest who had mediated the adoption of Madrigal.
Pérez died in December 2016, at 93 years old. "She never believed that there was a cheated woman behind, a theft of babies, but she wanted to help me know my origin. She was told that my mother was a married woman who had had an affair, "says Madrigal, who admits that if today we are here, before a historical sentence, it is thanks to what her mother still calls her, in spite of everything, a woman "very valiant".
Thousands of cases of stolen babies have been shelved when prescribed, but Madrigal's went ahead and sat on the bench Vela last June. The prosecution considered it proven that there was "child trafficking" and asked for the defendant 11 jail for the crimes of illegal detention, assumption of birth and falsification of official document. The private accusation, which is exercised by the stolen girl, raised that request until she was 13 years old. The prosecutor requested, in addition, compensation of 350,000 euros. Madrigal did not want money, nor jail. "Yes, I would like this to end in a condemnatory sentence, but more than going to jail [Vela], I would like you to tell the truth. So that these mothers can say to their children: 'I did not abandon you' and those children know that they did not leave them, "Madrigal says.
Vela worked, between 1961 and 1981 in the Madrid clinic of San Ramón, epicenter of the complaints for theft of babies. Her name is, with that of Sister María Gómez Valbuena -dained in 2013, four days after being summoned to testify before the judge- the most repeated in the stories of the mothers who have come to the court convinced that their babies did not die in childbirth, as they were told, but they were handed over to other families.
However, Dr. Vela resigned himself in the trial of everything he had admitted in the instruction. "I do not know … I do not remember." This is how Vela responded to almost all the questions from the prosecutor and the prosecutor, Guillermo Peña. During the hearing, when the prosecutor showed her the key document again, Madrigal's birth certificate, the doctor said: "That's not mine."
This Monday, the Seventh Section of the Hearing has considered "incontestably proven" that the doctor simulated "the existence of a birth that had not occurred", handed the girl "out of legal channels" and made "a filiation fallacious "without the consent of his real parents, but he has not condemned it because he considers that all crimes prescribed when the complainant reached the age of majority. Against the judgment it is possible resource and Madrigal, that considers the sentence a victory "bittersweet", she has already announced that she will take her case to the Supreme Court for her and "by hundreds of cases that go behind and for which it would create jurisprudence ". Madrigal, president of the association S.O.S. Stolen babies, will continue meanwhile without knowing who their real parents are. Unless someone tells the truth.