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In mistaken identity, distraught Mexican girl brought to U.S., then sent back

April 23, 2015

The video is heart-wrenching: 14-year-old Alondra Luna Nunez screams and resists as several Mexican police officers take her out of a courthouse and force her into a waiting patrol car.

The video was shot just minutes after a Mexican judge had ordered Alondra Luna to be taken to the U.S. to live with Dorotea Garcia in Houston.

Garcia had been searching for her daughter since 2007 when her ex-husband illegally took the girl to Mexico.

Alondra Luna’s parents in Mexico pleaded with the judge to conduct a DNA test before sending her to Texas — to no avail. Immediately after the girl’s removal, her parents and supporters blocked a major highway, posted appeals on social media and took to the airwaves.

“That woman [in Texas] only picked out my daughter because of her name and nothing else,” Gustavo Luna, the girl’s father, said on national radio.

In a different broadcast, the girl’s mother cried: “They stole my daughter.”

The parents insisted that authorities must be looking for a different Alondra, who was a year younger and last seen living with her father, a distant relative of theirs.

Adding to the confusion in the case, a video appeared on Facebook of Alondra Luna, the girl dragged out of the courthouse.

Nearly drowned out by passing cars, Alondra Luna smiles into the camera and says she’s in the U.S. and it’s a nice place.

But with international pressure growing, a DNA test was ordered. It was not a match for the Texas woman’s daughter. So on Wednesday, Alondra Luna was flown back and reunited with her parents in Mexico.

Speaking to reporters, the relieved teen said she thought she was going to end up living in Houston. She said she filmed the video to reassure her parents she was fine and added that the Houston woman told her she had identified her from a picture on her Facebook page.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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