Wounds of war

Wounds of war
By: Max Herrador   /   Translation: Ramón Avalos
It was the very first time that their hands were intertwined, mother and son, David Kupstas was kidnapped 28 years ago by a lawyer that later on was found -guilty of being a member of an international gang dedicated to children trafficking during the civil war that was ravaging El Salvador in the 80’.

During this conflictive period in the history of El Salvador as well as in any other countries that are going through social crisis. These crisis pave the way for human atrocities such as mass murders, human rights violations and cruelties alike, being children trafficking one of them. which was led by a group of fraudulent people and using the most out righteous tactics such as the use of false documents to sell children to couples that wanted to adopt these kids.

David knew of his mother’s existence and her desire to meet him since 2005, however it took him this long to take the courage to meet her probably because was very hard for him to assimilate the reality and the consequences this will bring; also because the story he was told by his adoptive parents were totally different from what he was finding out. His certificate of adoption was real but not so much the biological parents signatures.

Maria Rosa tells me that it was the year of 1984 when her husband went missing with out any notice and while she was attending a religious service and her little son, David, was taken care by her mom a lawyer came to the house and with intimidation and lies told her mom that the army found out where they were living and were coming after them and they will be killed. The grand mother fearing the worst for her grand child and in a rushing moment gave David  to the so called trusted lawyer who in turn proceeded to sell David to an American couple.

David is now 29 years old, an American citizen who lives in Pennsylvania and owns a prosperous trucking company tells us, while holding his biological mom Maria Rosa Flores hand:“during these last years I was very afraid to meet my mom”.

The psychological team from Pro-Busqueda tell us that this fear is well founded since these lawyers used to tell the adoptive parents that these kids were given in adoption by parents that didn’t love them and their only motive was financial gain.

Pro-busqueda is a non-profit organization that its main goal is to reunite families that were torn apart due to the civil war that spread for almost two decades. Thanks to its investigate and psychological  work so far Pro-busqueda has reunite 230 families.

During this emotional reunion David was always accompany by his two kids; a little boy and a girl; and his wife who was always by his side.

Once all the hype of this meeting was gone and the press had left it was only Ulises Rodriguez me and two of the best photographers who understand that a good picture goes beyond the “click”who stayed with the family and besides in the country side, it is totally impolite to say no to a lunch invitation. Especially when it comes to eat chicken.

While driving back to San Salvador I was asking myself how many wounds this type of conflict scares the heart of the society. How many Davids and Rosas Marias are all over the world that cannot give closure to this chapter of their lives because of the mafias that profit from the human suffering?