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Teen's murder casts light on baby trafficking in Peru

Teen's murder casts light on baby trafficking in Peru
The Associated Press

LIMA, Peru — When the body of Claudina Herrera was discovered nearly five months ago by the side of a highway, curled in the fetal position in a cardboard box, the cause of death was obvious: The pregnant 18-year-old's belly was sliced wide open, and her baby was gone.

Within days, her premature girl was located in intensive care at a public hospital, and the woman who had shown up with the baby — covered in blood and saying she had given birth in a taxi — was arrested with four others.

Herrera's slaying to steal her unborn child has shocked Peru and served as an ugly reminder of the early 1990s, when widespread allegations of corrupt adoption procedures led to a crackdown.

It also suggests that an illegal industry is still booming: Dr. Luis Bromley, chief of forensic investigations at the Attorney General's office, said the alleged perpetrators belong to one of at least a dozen rings trafficking in babies in Peru....

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