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Separated and stolen at birth, Chilean mother-son duo reunites after 42 years!

10:01 AM | 5 Sep, 2023
Chile
Source: Social media

What sounds dreamy just became reality! In a surprising turn of events, a 42-year-old lawyer, who was stolen as a child at birth during the rule of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet and later raised and adopted in the United States, traveled all the way to South America to meet his biological mother for the first time.

“She didn’t know about me because they took me at birth and told her I was dead,” Jimmy Lippert Thyden said, according to media outlets.

“When she asked for my body, they told her they had disposed of it,” he added. “So we’ve never held each other, we’ve never hugged,” Thyden shared.

Covering the distance to his mother’s hometown of Valdivia some 740km south of the Chilean capital, Lippert Thyden finally reunited with his biological family and tearfully hugged Maria Angelica Gonzalez, his biological mother, and told her he loved her.

“I love you very much,” Jimmy Lippert Thyden told his mother in Spanish as they hugged with teary eyes.

“It knocked the wind out of me. … I was suffocated by the gravity of this moment,” Thyden told The Associated Press in a video call after the reunion. “How do you hug someone in a way that makes up for 42 years of hugs?”

The Chilean lawyer traveled to his homeland with his wife, Johannah, and their two daughters, Ebba Joy, 8, and Betty Grace, 5, who met their grandmother for the first time.

Welcomed with a wholesome gesture, Thyden was greeted with 42 colorful balloons, each one signifying a year of lost time with his Chilean family.

“There is an empowerment in popping those balloons, empowerment in being there with your family to take inventory of all that was lost,” he said.

Lippert Thyden reconnected with his family with the help DNA tracing via MyHeritage.com and Nos Buscamos, a Chilean NGO which helps reconnect families separated during the 17-year dictatorship.

Thousands of people were disappeared and tens of thousands tortured during Pinochet’s rule, which ended in 1990. Augusto Pinochet ruled this South American country, after a CIA-led bloody coup, for 17 years.

“This case is one of hundreds or thousands of cases of child trafficking during the dictatorship and democracy,” Nos Buscamos founder Constanza del Rio said, according to media outlets.

“These children were declared as dead and sold to foreigners for $10,000 or $15,000.”

Thyden reconnected with his biological mother, brothers and sister. (Constanza Del Rio/Nos Buscamos via AP)

With the help of Chilean nonprofit Nos Buscamos, Thyden discovered that he was a prematurely born child at a hospital in Santiago, Chile’s capital, and placed in an incubator. His mother, Gonzalez, was told to leave the hospital, but when she returned to get her son, authorities told her that he died and his body had been disposed of, according to the case file, which Thyden summarized to the AP.

“The paperwork I have for my adoption tells me I have no living relatives. And I learned in the last few months that I have a mama and I have four brothers and a sister,” Thyden said in the interview from Ashburn, Virginia, where he works as a criminal defense attorney representing “people who look like me” who cannot afford a lawyer.

He said his was a case of “counterfeit adoption.”

Nos Buscamos estimates tens of thousands of babies were taken from Chilean families in the 1970s and 1980s, based on a report from the Investigations Police of Chile.

This particular child-trafficking case coincided with many other human rights violations that took place during the 17-year reign of Gen. Augusto Pinochet, who on September 11, 1973, led a Chilean coup to overthrow Marxist President Salvador Allende.

During his notorious dictatorship, at least 3,095 people were killed, according to government figures, and tens of thousands more were tortured or jailed for political reasons.

Daily Pakistan Global Web Desk

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PKR exchange rate to US dollar, Euro, Pound, Dirham, and Riyal - 21 Feb 2024

Pakistani currency remains stable against US dollar and other currencies in the open market on February 21, 2024 (Wednesday).

US Dollar rate in Pakistan

In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.6 for buying and 282.4 for selling.

Euro comes down to 300 for buying and 303 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 350.5 for buying, and 354 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76.15 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.35.

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 21 Feb 2024

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 279.6 282.4
Euro EUR 300 303
UK Pound Sterling GBP 350.5 354
U.A.E Dirham AED 76.15 76.9
Saudi Riyal SAR 74.35 75.1
Australian Dollar AUD 181 183
Bahrain Dinar BHD 743.32 751.32
Canadian Dollar CAD 207 209
China Yuan CNY 38.89 39.29
Danish Krone DKK 40.38 40.78
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.74 36.09
Indian Rupee INR 3.37 3.48
Japanese Yen JPY 2.10 2.18
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 902.41 911.41
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.6 59.2
New Zealand Dollar NZD 171.68 173.68
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.43 26.73
Omani Riyal OMR 725.96 733.96
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.76 77.46
Singapore Dollar SGD 207 209
Swedish Korona SEK 26.53 26.83
Swiss Franc CHF 316.9 319.4
Thai Bhat THB 7.93 8.08

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