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Rosa's Case: Lies of a Feminist Network Exposed in Nicaragua

"Rosa" was the name the feminists of the Red de Mujeres Contra la Violencia, or Network of Women Against Violence (WNAV) gave to a 9-year-old Nicaraguan girl, who was raped and later became pregnant in the beginning of 2003 in Costa Rica.  Accusations laid at the doorstep of the girl's neighbor are now being challenged by a more in-depth investigation, one that not only clears his name, but points to far more sinister forces at work.

WNAV used Rosa as a poster child to promote the decriminalization of abortion internationally, repeating the tired line that abortion is essential to save the lives of thousands of women. They produced videos, essays, books and organized several events in many American and European cities. At these events, the stepfather and the mother of Rosa were present, supported by the WNAV and demanding justice for Rosa, and a severe punishment of the rapist. On one of these occasions, egged on by the feminists, the girl's stepfather even said he would kill the neighbor with his own hands.

In a series of moves reminiscent of young children going to the right parent for the answer they want, some key case members of the WNAV traveled to Costa Rica with officials (ideologically pro abortion) of the Attorney General Office on Human Rights of Nicaragua. They advocated the "right" of Rosa to abort her baby, with the full approval of the stepfather and mother. Upon learning that the Costa Rican government refuses to permit abortion, they promptly rushed Rosa to Nicaragua. Once there, authorities established that the parents had the freedom to make their own decision, labeling this abortion as "therapeutic."  Public pressure growing hotter, they quickly ended the life of Rosa’s baby.

After the abortion was completed, WNAV completely lost interest in the conviction and prosecution of "Rosita's" rapist.
As of November 17, 2006, abortion in Nicaragua is illegal with no exceptions.

We now know that the story was very different from WNAV's version. Reporters of a popular newspaper in Nicaragua, "El Nuevo Diario" (END), found "Rosita" and her mother in a WNAV lodging last month. Their actual situation was even more shocking than the one which made her unhappily famous to begin with: it is now known that the girl's 19-month-old daughter is not the neighbor's, rather, her stepfather's.

Not only that, but it soon became clear that WNAV had repeatedly ignored obvious warning signs about the baby's paternity.  Even in the face of emerging evidence, they still argue that they had no knowledge of the truth of the matter, even though it is now coming to light that the stepfather raped the girl more than once, resulting in the conception of yet another child.  WNAV's repeated half-baked explanations show how fanatical they are to legalize abortion, and how careless they had been with Rosa.  "The true life of 'Rosita' was, until today, WNAV's best-kept secret," said END in an August 9 report. "It was the same girl, now 14 years old, who triggered the series of events that led END to expose what was happening."

WNAV still insists that Rosa's abortion was the best option available to the 9-year-old girl. According to her parents, after having an abortion she "was back to her dolls and was happy again".  WNAV did not expect an investigation on the level of the one END conducted, one that uncovered the fact that Rosa’s life after the abortion was, in fact, hellish. Forever stigmatized by the event, Rosa was vilified by the community as a result of her abortion, as was everyone who participated.

Notwithstanding, WNAV's members' attitudes incriminate them. They have spent the duration of the case, now 4 years running, hiding information in order to keep "Rosita" and her mother away from anyone but them. END also complained that the police of Masaya province are also complicit in this crime, making any investigation into the matter extremely difficult. "For the time being, the whereabouts of "Rosita" and her daughter are privileged information of WNAV," END said bitterly.  "This entire international campaign was based on a lie."

In the end, WNAV was forced to return "Rosita" to the authorities, but WNAV requested that one of their own psychologists supervise her at all times. The reason is simple: the truth could complicate WNAV's legal situation.  It is now clear that WNAV's interest in the case arose solely from their interest in promoting the legalization of abortion.  As a direct consequence of this, justice was not served, "Rosita" continued to be exposed to the rapist day and night for 4 years, and an innocent man suffered rebuke and imprisonment. These are serious charges, and WNAV is now desparate to avoid being prosecuted by the Family Affairs Ministry of Nicaragua. 

The contradictions are multiplying every day, and the story can hardly have a happy ending for WNAV. If one good thing comes of this entangled web of rape, murder, deception and coverup it is this: WNAV has lost its credibility in any future debate about abortion. 

 By Carlos Polo; Colin Mason is the Director for Media Production at PRI. Population Research Institute. Permission to reprint granted.
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Pro-Abortion Group in Nicaragua Caught Aiding Rapist Escapes Criminal Investigation
Famous "hard case" of pregnant nine year old called into question

Part I of a III part series.

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MANAGUA, August 16, 2007 ( – Known to the world only as "Rosita," a nine year old Nicaraguan child impregnated by a rapist several years ago became the international poster girl for the pro-abortion movement.  Since 2003 her "hard case" pregnancy has been used to promote the cause of "theraputic abortion" in Nicaragua and worldwide, inspiring numerous articles, petition drives, and even a documentary featured on the cable TV channel Cinemax. 

Now, media sources in Nicaragua have uncovered the fact that "Rosita" has a living child (different from the unborn child that was ultimately aborted in the high-profile 2003 case) by her own stepfather, the very man who pro-abortion feminists helped to escape Costa Rica during a criminal investigation of the original rape.  The scandal has made headlines across Nicaragua, and government authorities are attempting to find the stepfather, Fletez Sanchez, who is now in hiding.

As documented in earlier coverage, Sanchez had been suspected by investigators from the beginning of the case in 2003, when "Rosita's" pregnancy was accidentally discovered in Costa Rica by medical authorities while treating the girl for a vaginal infection.  The family attempted at that time to blame a Costa Rican man, who denied the charges. 

When pro-abortion feminists from the "Network of Women Agains

t Violence" discovered the girl's situation, they helped Sánchez and his wife to smuggle Rosita out of Costa Rica and back to Nicaragua, where they used the case as part of their campaign to promote "therapeutic abortion" in Latin America, claiming that the procedure was necessary to protect the health of the girl.  In the absence of the stepfather, Costa Rican authorities were unable to obtain the DNA tests necessary to prove the true identity of the rapist.

Ultimately, the feminist group secured an abortion at an unnamed site in Nicaragua after obtaining signed approval from three handpicked doctors.  Rosita's extreme case was trumpeted by the pro-abortion movement worldwide as a heroic rescue of a victimized child, and an example of the need to make abortion more available to women in Latin America.  The family was protected from government questioning by the "Network", and after the abortion they were given a house to live in by the organization.  Attempts by Costa Rica to further the criminal investigation against Sanchez were also thwarted by the protection of the organization and the failure of Nicaraguan authorities to pursue the case.

However, the revelation that Rosita has a child, now eighteen months old, fathered by her stepfather, has all but eliminated doubt about the identity of Rosita's rapist in 2003. 

Sanchez, who is in hiding, has admitted in telephone interviews that he has had an ongoing sexual relationship with his stepdaughter, and claims that his wife has known all along.  He also claims that Rosita is several years older than previously believed, a claim also made by neighbors of the family.  Should that be the case it would further erode the health concerns cited by doctors in 2003 to justify Rosita's abortion. 

Nicaraguan authorities are now engaged in a nationwide manhunt for Sanchez.

Dr. Rafael Cabrera Artola, President of the pro-life group ANPROVIDA and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the Institute of Medical Science in Nicaragua, told that the recent revelations would be very damaging to the pro-abortion movement in Nicaragua, which has been caught in "a lie, a deception."

"This is going to wake up Nicaragua in the sense that, yes, eighty percent of the population according to the most recent polls are against abortion…I think that this is going to cause the mask to fall from the group that supports abortion, and this percentage is going to increase more," Cabrera told

Carlos Polo, the Population Research Institute's director for Latin America, remarked to the Catholic news agency ACI Prensa that "the organizations in favor of abortion have no moral limit for acheiving their goals.  And that should not surprise us because their purpose is to kill an innocent child.  Therefore, to lie blatantly or protect a rapist to acheive a law does not escape their possibilities."

Under heated questioning from the Nicaraguan media at a recent press conference, representatives of the "Woman's Network Against Violence" admitted that they had known about the birth of "Rosita's" child, but that they had been told the father was a boyfriend from her school. "The abuser is always a very able, intelligent, and fairly manipulative person," stated a representative to the Nuevo Diario newspaper in Nicaragua. "The truth is, this aggressor tricked all of us." 

After four years of using "Rosita" as a "symbol" of the movement for "therapeutic abortion", the Network's representatives downplayed the importance of the case, which they said was "similar to many in which we intervene as an organization." When a reporter, astounded, reminded the representative that "She's 'Rosita', remember?", the Network responded "Yes, but this case is nothing different from what we are familiar with.  We're talking about an abuser and a victim, a girl."

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Sinister Deceptions of Abortion Groups in Latin America Exposed
A history of the infamous case of "Rosita"

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MANAGUA, August 16, 2007 ( – The political crisis surrounding "Rosita" began when two pro-abortion feminists, Marta Maria Blandon and Lorna Norori, discovered the existence of the pregnant girl at a Costa Rican hospital through media reports.  Blandon was the Central American Director of the US-based organization Ipas, which is a major promoter of abortion worldwide.  Noroni was a therapist, who ironically claims to specialize in child sexual abuse. The duo, in league with the feminist "Network of Women Against Violence" decided that "Rosita" would be useful to their campaign to preserve and promote access to "therapeutic abortion" in Latin America. 

"From the very beginning a strategy was developed by the members of the support group that was set up and led by the Red de Mujeres contra la Violencia [Network of Women Against Violence] and many other organizations with long experience in the issues", admitted Blandon in a 2003 interview for the Women's Health Journal.

"This coalition of the broader women's movement felt that it was the right time to lobby for an enforceable law allowing therapeutic abortion and to demand that the State take responsibility for Rosita's case. This decision coincided with a struggle to prevent the elimination of therapeutic abortion, a battle long underway in Nicaragua: the Penal Code is currently being reformulated, and 'pro-life' groups are urging that the right to therapeutic abortion be removed."

The first step in their plan was to convince the government authorities to turn the girl over to them.  By their own admission, Blandon and Norori concealed their identities as pro-abortion activists when approaching the Costa Rican authorities. 

"We never introduced ourselves as members of the women's movement or as feminists. We used other identities that were not threatening to these people who in a way had taken control of this family's life," said Blandon in the 2003 interview. "So we came as members of a high-level commission. I also introduced myself as a representative of Nicaragua's Comision Nacional de Lucha contra la Muerte Materna (National Commission Against Maternal Mortality) of which I am a member. Lorna came as a consultant and an expert in sexual abuse."

Dr. Rafael Cabrera Artola, President of the pro-life group ANPROVIDA and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the Institute of Medical Science in Nicaragua, states that the Costa Rican medical authorities regard themselves as having been completely deceived by Blandon and Noroni. "Now they say they were deceived, lie after lie," he told a press conference on August 13th.

At the time of her discovery by Blandon and Noroni, "Rosita" was under the careful watch of Costa Rican doctors, who were concerned that a nine-year-old girl with a pregnancy faced serious risks if moved.  Although the feminists claimed to be concerned about the girl's health, they ignored the physicians' concerns about transporting the girl over long distances, and absconded with the girl, according to Cabrera.

Meanwhile, the Costa Rican authorities were still attempting t

o determine the true identity of the rapist, and needed the presence of "Rosita" to complete their investigation.  Although the girl and her family had accused a Costa Rican man, Alexis Barquero, of having perpetrated the rape, investigators suspected that the real perpetrator was her stepfather, Fletez Sanchez.  Barquero had denied the accusation against him and said he had never even seen the girl. 

Costa Rican investigators planned to obtain DNA evidence from the fetus to resolve the issue, but Blandon and Noroni were apparently unconcerned about the resolution of the case, or the health issues involved in transporting "Rosita". "They took her out at dawn on the 11th (of January 2003), from Costa Rica, at the time when the police of that country were on the trail of the stepfather of the girl," noted Cabrera during his press briefing. "I think that was to prevent the confirmation of the rapist of the girl, defending the crime, an illegal criminal association that committed a criminal cover-up."

In her interview with the Woman's Health Journal, Blandon admitted that "the parents wanted" to leave the country, and that she and Noroni knew they were helping them to evade the criminal investigation. "Our number one priority was to get them out of there [Costa Rica], which is what the parents wanted," stated Blandon.

Blandon also acknowledged that "we were not able to leave Costa Rica because the parents had to make an official declaration for the trial of the rapist. Even though Rosita's attacker was already in jail, the judge maintained that there was insufficient proof against him. Rosita and other children already had testified that he had abused and raped her, but the court was not satisfied. Why? Xenophobia, prejudice against immigrants. There was even an attempt to accuse Rosita's father of the abuse…Finally, we did have to sneak them out clandestinely under veiled threats by the Minister of the National Child Welfare Agency who said that we might not be allowed to leave and that Rosita's custody might be taken away from her parents. But we made it to Nicaragua."

Blandon further admitted in the interview that the parents could have procured an abortion legally in Costa Rica under existing exceptions to its antiabortion laws, and that the parents had to be convinced by the Network of the necessity of an abortion after they had arrived in Nicaragua, thus eliminating the abortion as a possible motive for the move.  Strangely, they gave no answers regarding the couple's motive for wishing to leave the country during a criminal investigation that had considered Sanchez a suspect.

The machinations of Blandon are not the only incident in which her organization, Ipas, has been involved in apparently deceptive practices to promote its pro-abortion agenda in Latin America.  In 2006 Ipas, whose Latin American division was still being led by Blandon, falsely claimed that a woman in El Salvador was in jail for a "therapeutic abortion", when in fact the woman had strangled the child after its birth.  Ipas used the case to raise money until the story was exposed as a hoax by in conjunction with pro-life activists in the nation (see ).

In Nicaragua, Blandon, Norori, and the "Network of Women Against Violence" approached government officials that they knew were sympathetic to them, as well as friendly members of the Nicaraguan legislature. They claim that they received help from the "Procurador de Derechos Humanos" (Human rights Ombudsman), who recommended that the Ministry of Health give the case a hearing.

Although the Ministry of Health named a commission of twelve doctors to examine the girl, the "Network" denied all access to her.  According to Natalia Barillas, who at the time headed the Nicaraguan Ministry of the Family, she became alarmed at the behavior of the Network, and issued an order that the girl was not to be removed from the hospital where she was staying, but "they were already taking her out through the back door of the hospital."

Instead of accepting the Ministry of Health's appointed commission of medical experts, the Network convoked a panel of three hand-picked physicians with pro-abortion views to examine the case.  The doctors, who by Blandon's admission were in favor of therapeutic abortion, merely issued an ambiguous declaration that acknowledged that all pregnancies were risky.  However, the Network deemed the decision sufficient to carry out the abortion under the then-existing Nicaraguan law, rarely applied, that allowed abortions for health reasons.

Blandon and Norori would later boast that "we have successfully challenged two states" (Costa Rica and Nicaragua) and "defied the Catholic Church", in their scheme to aid the flight of Sanchez and abort the child who may have been his own.

"We still don't know that place nor the identity of the people who deprived the girl or boy the universal right to be born, by means of abortion," says Cabrera.  Blandon also declined to name the location where the abortion was performed in 2003, stating only that it was staffed by "health care professionals who had overcome their fear of the stigma of abortion".

Meanwhile, the Costa Rican government continued its investigation into the case and Alexis Barquero, the Costa Rican originally accused by Rosita, ultimately spent three months in jail.  In a recent interview with Nicaragua's Nuevo Diario newspaper he recalled the destruction of his reputation, assaults by other prisoners, and contemplating suicide.

Although his father, and the Costa Rican government, plead for DNA tests to be conducted by the Nicaraguan government, they were never done.  However, previous blood tests of Rosita in Costa Rica had shown that she had contracted multiple venereal diseases from her rapist, including Human Papaloma Virus (HPV).  Barquero was tested for the same diseases, and the results were negative. In July of this year, after more than four years of investigation, a Costa Rican court finally cleared him of all charges.

In Nicaragua, the Network ignored the plight of Barquero, and continued to hide "Rosita" and her stepfather from the public.  They claimed that following the abortion Rosita had quickly returned to playing with her toys and was living a carefree existence.  In fact, Rosita had in the meantime given birth to a child by her step-father, who has recently admitted to having a protracted sexual relationship with his step-daughter (see Part I of the series for more information on this aspect of the story).

"Rosita's" family was given a house by the Network membership. Neighbors have told the Nicaraguan TV media that they saw women from some organization regularly visiting the home.

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The Making of a Pro-Abortion Poster Child – Rosita – Backfired!
The history of "Rosita" continued
Part III of a III part series.

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MANAGUA, August 16, 2007 ( – After her famous abortion, "Rosita" and her family were transformed into stars of the pro-abortion movement worldwide.  Network organizers spread the story to the foreign press, and after Catholic Church officials announced the automatic excommunication of anyone involved in the abortion, a petition

drive was created in which people asked to receive an excommunication for supporting "Rosita's" abortion. 

In Spain, Network organizers claimed to have gathered over 30,000 signatures.  The publicity culminated with a documentary made by two American filmmakers, which was aired on Cinemax and appeared in numerous film festivals, garnering awards and praise from the mainstream media.

Although the family of "Rosita" was hidden from the Nicaraguan public, the Network was not shy about transporting them to Chile in 2003, where they attempted to use the "hard case" to promote "therapeutic abortion" in that country.  Their efforts, however, failed.

The truth about "Rosita's" relationship with her stepfather finally began to emerge when the girl left home after a fight with her mother, who was reportedly jealous of her relationship with her husband.  According to El Nuevo Diario, the Network then sent the girl to live in a shelter run by Network organization "Acción Ya" (Action Now). Her mother, infuriated at the situation, filed charges against Sanchez on July 31st, nineteen months after her daughter had given birth to his child.

The current Nicaraguan Family Minister, Rosa Adilia Vizcaya, has ordered the child to be removed from the shelter and transported to a Special Protection center endorsed by the Ministry of Family, Adolescents, and Children.  She has also warned the Network that if it is determined that they were deliberately concealing the sexual abuse of "Rosita" that they will face criminal charges. 

"Vizcaya thundered against the organizations that make up the Network of Women Against Violence and signaled that they had hidden the crime committed against the minor, but also indicated that the Network is taking an attitude that obstructs the work of protecting minors," reported El Nuevo Diaro on August 13th.  Vizcaya also "warned that legal actions might be taken against the organization if it was proven that they had hidden the crime committed against the minor" and "assured that if it was proven that the mother hid the violation of the minor, she would be 'removed from the care of her mother'."

The strategy employed by the Network was a standard method of the abortion lobby in Latin America, a region where abortion is deeply offensive to the moral sensibilities of the culture, which is predominantly Catholic.  While it is difficult to convince the population to accept "abortion on demand" as it is practiced in North America and Europe, pro-abortion activists have been occasionally successful in winning popular support by finding "hard cases", in which a difficult pregnancy is used as an example of the need for "therapeutic abortion". 

The society and government are led to believe that the existence of such cases proves the necessity of creating more and more exceptions to existing laws against abortion, which are then relaxed over time as the population becomes more desensitized to the practice.

Ironically, the pro-abortion "Rosita" campaign had the opposite effect its promoters intended for Nicaragua. Three years after the campaign and the abortion, which plunged the small South American country into an intense nationwide debate, the national legislature voted to remove the exception for "therapeutic abortion" in the nation's anti-abortion laws, and the BBC admitted that the new law was generally supported by the population.  Today, all abortions are illegal in Nicaragua.

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[16August2007,, Matthew Cullinan Hoffman]