Latin America & Caribbean

US-Mexico custody case: DNA confirms girl's identity

Alondra Diaz Garcia arrives for a court hearing in Los Reyes, Mexico. (12/05/ 2015) Image copyright AP
Image caption The teenage girl should be re-united with her mother in Texas after DNA tests confirmed her identity

A teenager in Mexico is due to be reunited with her mother in the United States after DNA tests confirmed her identity.

The tests showed Alondra Diaz Garcia, 13, was the daughter of a woman in Texas who has been searching for her.

She was taken to Mexico by her father eight years ago after a US court awarded custody to the mother.

Last month, another Mexican girl was mistaken for Alondra and taken against her will to Dorotea Garcia in the US.

On Monday, Alondra appeared in a court in the western state of Michoacan along with her aunt and grandmother.

The girl told local media that she had been "happy with my Dad, but at the same time I felt there was something missing".

"I have missed my mother's affection because I have not seen her for so long," she said.

Her relatives said her father had decided to hand her over after he saw coverage of the confusion over Alondra Luna Nunez in the media.

Last month a video showing 14-year-old girl Alondra Luna Nunez in distress as she was seized by police and dragged away from her school caused outrage after it was published on social media.

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Media captionAlondra Luna Nunez was in distress as police officers dragged her out of school

Ms Garcia had mistaken her for her daughter because the two girls share the same first name, are of a similar age and bear a similar scar.

Alondra Luna Nunez was sent to Houston, where Ms Garcia lives, even though the girl and her family insisted all along there had been a mistake.

"The other girl had a scar, but on the eyebrow, and I have one on my nose," Alondra Luna Nunez told the Associated Press.

"I mean, all this was stirred up over that."

A local judge in Mexico had refused to carry out a DNA test before sending her to the US, saying that was not within the court's remit.

DNA tests carried out in Houston eventually revealed Alondra Luna Nunez was not Ms Garcia's daughter.

The girl was flown back to Mexico, where she was reunited with her parents.

Timeline:

1 June 2007: Alondra Diaz Garcia, aged five, is taken by her father from Houston to Mexico without her mother's permission after the couple split and a court awarded custody to the mother

14 April 2015: Alondra Luna Nunez is seized by police at her school and handed to the Mexican authorities

16 April 2015: Alondra Luna Nunez is flown to Houston after a Mexican judge ruled she should be handed to Dorotea Garcia

20 April 2015: DNA tests carried out on Alondra Luna Nunez and Dorotea Garcia show they are not related

22 April 2015: Alondra Luna Nunez is flown back to Mexico and reunited with her family

11 May 2015: A 13-year-old girl presents herself at a court in Michoacan saying she is Alondra Diaz Garcia

14 May 2015: A Mexican prosecutor says DNA tests have confirmed her identity

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