NewsMEXICO: MEXICO INTERPOL SAYS NO EVIDENCE OF ORGAN TRAFFIC.

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Subject: NewsMEXICO: MEXICO INTERPOL SAYS NO EVIDENCE OF ORGAN TRAFFIC.
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Mon May 15 2000 - 09:43:42 EDT


5-11-00 MEXICO: MEXICO INTERPOL SAYS NO EVIDENCE OF ORGAN TRAFFIC.
By Miguel Angel Gutierrez
MEXICO CITY, May 10 (Reuters) - The director of Interpol in Mexico said on
Wednesday there was no evidence of human organ trafficking in Mexico as
alleged in a Spanish documentary this week.
"The most likely is that it's an attempt at fraud ... and not organ
trafficking," director Juan Miguel Ponce told a news conference after clips
from the film were aired on Mexican television on Tuesday night.
"Up to now we can't say we have found more than a sign rather than
fundamental proof to be able to say organ trafficking exists," he added.
The protagonist at the heart of the case, who posed as a Catholic priest,
had turned out to be an impostor with a long history of small-time fraud,
he said.
However, the investigations would continue and the two journalists from
Spanish broadcaster Antena 3 who made the report would be summoned to
appear before Mexican authorities, Ponce said.
"The reporters were witnesses and possible participants ... for which they
will be called upon to make statements in the course of the
investigations," the police chief said.
Antena 3 transmitted a film on Monday showing a local priest negotiating
the sale of a kidney for close to $1 million and a doctor at the private
Santa Fe hospital in the Mexican capital agreeing to participate in the
deal.
Spanish daily El Mundo also collaborated in the investigative report. Using
hidden cameras, two Spanish reporters posed as potential buyers of organs.
Martin Rubio, who claimed to be a priest called Friar Martin, was shown on
film agreeing to find them a kidney, for which a price of $900,000
negotiated.
But Santa Fe hospital director Jorge Sorzano said health ministry
authorities and judicial police had carried out an investigation of the
hospital's activities and found no irregularities regarding its organ
transplants.
The false priest and doctor had both been summoned to appear before the
federal attorney general's office.
Mexican television on Wednesday showed police safeguarding the house in
which, according to the report, Rubio allegedly rounded up minors and young
people and convinced them through deceit to donate their organs.

REUTERS NEWS SERVICE


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