Red for a separated father and mother and yellow for their respective daughters, aged 10 and 11, kidnapped in Germany and taken to Paraguay without the approval of their former partners. They are the colors of the alert issued by Interpol. The kidnapping occurred in November, when the resurgence of the coronavirus pandemic raised a wave of deniers willing to do anything to avoid a vaccination that never became mandatory. It is not an exceptional or less dramatic case. The couple, remarried, tried to prevent the other two parents from looking for the girls by leaving a suicide note as a farewell. They are still alive.

The track has reached Paraguay, where dozens of deniers from around the world, including nearly 2,000 Germans, have fled vaccination and the restrictions imposed by the government to stop the pandemic. An abandoned vehicle used by the parents was found on Monday in Bella Vista, some 400 kilometers south of Asunción, Paraguayan police reported Tuesday.

This Monday, the mother of one of the girls, Anne Maja Reiniger-Egler, appeared at the headquarters of the Public Ministry of Paraguay to ask citizens to have a heart “and support authorities to find Clara Magdalena Egler (10) -her daughter – and Lara Valentina Blank (11).

The Trafficking Unit of the Public Ministry and the anti-kidnapping department of the National Police are investigating the case of the little girls, who arrived in the country accompanied by Andreas Rainer Egler – Clara’s father – and Anna Maria Egler, Lara’s mother, five months ago. The investigations have only resulted in the location of the house where they had hidden. The house, however, had previously been abandoned.

“There are many German communities here and almost all of them are very closed, which is why the investigation is so difficult.” explains the deputy director of the Paraguayan police, Mario Vallejos.

German emigration to Paraguay skyrocketed last year, chasing a dream of absolute freedom, without anticovid measures, far from the alleged dictatorship like the one in Germany.

They travel lured by promises through Telegram or Facebook, and some residents who have lived there for years have turned the growing interest in Paraguay into their business model: They sell them terribly overvalued land and a lot of privacy. It is a new form of emigration that, like the one that occurred after World War II, in most cases follows its own rules and is always protected by secrecy. This explains why the Paraguayan police authorities have denounced the secrecy and lack of cooperation of the German communities in the regions where the girls were seen.”

The couple on the run with the girls likely intended to live in an anti-vaccine German settler community, argues plaintiffs’ attorney Stephan Schultheiss. “We are dealing with a case of violation of parental authority or kidnapping. Both are wanted by the German courts,” he says.

The German embassy in Asunción does not know the exact number and situation of its emigrated nationals, although after Brazilians and Argentines, they already occupy the third place in number of immigrants. In the small town of Hohenau alone, some 30 German families have settled in recent months, giving rise to a colony that already had a German school, a German butcher or bakery.

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