Threats Linked to Uncovering of Organ-Trafficking Network

Women Religious in Mozambique Report Ambush Attacks

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MADRID, Spain, FEB. 2, 2004 ( Five women religious working in Mozambique say they have received death threats after they uncovered an organ-trafficking scheme that kidnaps and kills children and youths.

The religious — four from Spain and one from Brazil — have been missionaries in the Nampula area of this southeastern African nation for 30 years.

According to a report they wrote, they have escaped four ambush attacks, after having reported to the local authorities the «kidnappings and multiple killings of persons, many times children, victims of an organ trafficking network.»

The report, revealed by the Spanish Catholic agency Veritas and seen by ZENIT, was corroborated by a missionary who asked to be identified only as «D.J.»

The women religious said they were able to gather information about the grisly trade because their convent is located between the property where the victims were taken, and the airport where the organs were flown out at night.

Since October 2002, dozens of area children and youths, especially street children, have disappeared mysteriously.

According to the report, the victims are taken to the property of a «white couple,» where their organs are removed.

The nuns said they have testimonies from individuals who escaped from the place. One of them, a minor, fled and sought refuge in the convent. He then recounted what he had seen and what he was told would be done to him, as well as to other children locked in a house on the property.

The report mentions a young girl, a hitchhiker, who was offered a ride by a man who began to ask her if she suffered from any illness or had ever had tuberculosis. When the driver learned the girl was in good health, he took another road, leading to the couple’s property.

«When he had to reduce the car’s speed because of the potholes, the young girl took advantage, got out of the car and fled,» the report said.

According to the same report, Sister Elilda, from Brazil, did some investigation around the neighborhoods of Nampula and found evidence of foul play. «She even found a place in the city in which there was a corpse that had the eyes, heart and kidneys removed,» the report said. Sister Elilda recorded the find with a video.

Despite repeated complaints to the local authorities, no legal proceedings have started.

«There is great corruption in Mozambique after so many years of war,» the report said, «the police, the airport, the local government — all are implicated.»

The authorities think the real problem is that the Spanish religious and the Catholic Church want to snatch the «white man’s land,» the report stated.

«The local authority is completely involved through bribes and, despite knowledge of many of these facts, no one has yet been arrested,» the report said. Sister Elilda had to go to Maputo, 2,000 kilometers (1,240 miles) away, to report the situation.

D.J., the corroborating missionary, said that in Maputo, «no one paid attention to her, only the NGO League for Human Rights, which in turn sought support from Madeira, the attorney general of the republic.»

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