The Pinochet dictatorship kidnapped hundreds of Chilean children and turned them over to Sweden for illegal adoption

Hundreds of Chilean children were kidnapped and illegally put up for adoption during Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship, according to a study published in Sweden by the newspaper Dagens Nyheter. Between 1971 and 1992 the number rose to 2,100 adoptions, 1,700 of which correspond to the path taken by Pinochet with the Swedish extreme right.

The epicenter of the kidnappings and childbirths would be the Sweden-Chile Society, an association under the leadership of the right-wing extremist Ulf Hamacher, which enabled the adoption center of the Swedish Society for the International Welfare of the Chilean Child to send positive information from the Chilean regime to the children’s family cores, who apply for adoption.

The research is based on the findings of Karen Alfaro, a doctor of history from the Chilean Austral University, and José Luis Morales, a history teacher and PhD student at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, ​​who analyzed the diplomatic records of the Chilean embassy in Sweden and archives of the Swedish Fund the General Historical Archives of the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Fund of the Ministry of Justice of the National Administrative Archives, among others.

The Pinochet dictatorship kidnapped hundreds of Chilean children and turned them over to Sweden for illegal adoption
The Pinochet dictatorship kidnapped hundreds of Chilean children and turned them over to Sweden for illegal adoption

According to the investigation, the upper echelons of the Chilean dictatorship agreed to kidnap thousands of children who have been given up for adoption and send them to the Scandinavian country in an attempt to break the regime’s diplomatic isolation.

“The military junta in Chile used the international adoption to Sweden to exert political influence,” the research emphasizes.

The Sweden-Chile Society tried to improve the image of the Chilean dictatorship in Sweden through humanitarian gestures, such as finding a better future for children who had allegedly been abandoned when they had actually been kidnapped.

The first complaints about illegal adoptions came in 2004 because of the work of journalist Ana María Olivares. Since 2018, a preliminary investigation has been running in Chile under the direction of Judge Mario Carroza, which focuses on the irregular adoption of Chilean children during the Pinochet dictatorship.

The Swedish government has responded through its Minister of Social Affairs, Social Democrat Lena Hallengren, who has announced an investigation to document possible “irregularities” in international adoptions from Chile.

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