German anti-vaccine couple who held their daughters in Paraguay surrender to police | international

Germany’s Andreas Aigler and Anna Maria Aigler – the father of one and the mother of one of the two girls who were taken to live in an anti-vaccine community in Paraguay – leave after the recovery session held in Asuncion on June 10, 2022.Norberto Duart (AFP)

Escape is over. Anti-vaccine Germans who fled to Paraguay and took their daughters without the consent of their former partners, surrendered Thursday to Paraguayan authorities. They lived with the girls, who are otherwise healthy, in German communities that have their roots in Paraguay for decades and that today receive hundreds of European anti-vaccine conspiracy theorists of all kinds, and communities that did not cooperate with the investigation, according to anti-kidnapping police.

“The girls are already here,” said the deputy commissioner for anti-kidnapping, Mario Vallejos, in Asuncion, Paraguay’s capital, where the girls and their parents were taken to present themselves to justice.

Andreas Rainer Eggler, father of Clara, 10, and Anna Magdalena Blanc, mother of Lara, 11, surrendered to police on Thursday with the girls after more than half a year without giving news to Anne Reiniger, Clara’s mother, and Philip. Blanc, Lara’s father, or Interpol, who were also on the lookout for them. They have been missing since November 27. Andreas and Anna disappeared without notifying their ex-partners, communicating only after Anne and Philip reported the case to the press. Parents in Germany were desperate, spending months of their savings on lawyers and fruitless searches across the country. Ann cried and begged her ex-husband in front of the camera to stop the trip.

Two days after news of the alleged kidnapping broke, Andreas and Anna showed the two girls in a video posted on social media. From there, the communication began with encrypted messages and negotiations concluded Thursday with the couple’s voluntary surrender with the two girls, according to attorneys for Ann and Philip.

On Friday, the four parents met at the Palace of Justice in Asuncion to complete the procedures for the girls’ return.

“Ms. Egler’s voluntary surrender puts an end to the constructive negotiations that have taken place in the past few days. (…) In many conversations, the conclusion was able to ripen that ending the trip was the only option, particularly in concern for the girls’ welfare,” the lawyers said in a statement .

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The public search is over, and concerned parents “strongly ask that their privacy, as well as that of their daughters, be respected.” The lawyers added that everyone hoped for a speedy return to Germany and “a full return to normalcy”.

The authorities will now decide – especially in Germany – how to proceed on the basis of the girls’ best interests. This analysis will not be distinguished from other ordinary family law cases. “We are explicitly asking to stop reporting the case of the children involved,” advocates say.

Anne Reiniger, Clara’s mother, and Lara’s father Philippe Blanc, thanked all concerned authorities in Paraguay, as well as in Germany. Also to the Coordinator for the Rights of Children and Adolescents (CDIA), the Association Wieder Zurueck, dedicated, from Germany, to the prevention of kidnappings or other kidnappings such as this one. According to the agency for the defense of human rights, German justice is required Eaglers “to commit the act of kidnapping people punishable by law.”

During the pandemic, Germany became the European country with the largest number of expats in Paraguay. They are already the third largest immigrant community in the country, after Brazilians and Argentines. At least 1,644 Germans completed their resettlement process in Paraguay in 2021, according to the Directorate of Migration. Almost triple that in 2020. As of March 30 of this year, another 575 have completed the process.

Some religious and right-wing people see Paraguay as a haven from coronavirus vaccines. Officially, there are currently about 7,731 Germans living in Paraguay, but their number is not really known due to the borders of this country, where anyone who wants to enter or leave can enter or leave by walking or sailing through one of the 3,739 kilometers of land and river borders that it shares with Brazil or Argentina Or Bolivia.

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