Were Clara Magdalena Egler and Lara Valentina Blank abducted to a commune by COVID-denying stepparents?

Police in Paraguay have questioned a man who may have rented a car to the non-detained parents of two 10-year-old girls who disappeared in Germany more than six months ago. The children are said to have been taken to a conspiracy theorist commune in Paraguay by their vaccination opponents.

Clara Magdalena Egler and Lara Valentina Blank both disappeared in November and are believed to have traveled to Paraguay with Clara’s father Andreas Rainer Egler and Lara’s mother Anna Maria Schapf, who are married but do not have custody of the girls.

“Presumably they intended to live in an anti-vaccination community inland because they belong to COVID-denial groups,” the Child and Youth Rights Coordinators (CDIA) group, which is helping to trace the girls, said at a news conference in Paraguay with Claras tearful mother Anne Maja and Lara’s father Filip Blank. The parents have spent months trying to track down their former spouses and children without police help, but have now gone public to try to get their daughters back.

Paraguay’s missing persons trip

Clara’s mother and Lara’s father are the parents who have legal custody of the 10-year-old, and they are concerned their daughters could face unimaginable harm in a commune where a number of conspiracy-theoretic Europeans have taken up residence. These gated communities, including El Paraíso Verde or The Green Paradise, which The Daily Beast reported on in January, are difficult for authorities to enter.

During the pandemic, German nationals made up most of the registered expatriates in Paraguay and tended to dominate the population in these communities, who have advertised on conspiratorial blogs, guaranteeing Paraguayan citizenship and an escape from everything, from vaccination requirements to chem trails. Around 26,000 Germans are said to live in communities in the South American country. The man, who was questioned by police about renting the car to the couple, is believed to work for a group helping Germans expedite Paraguayan citizenship and residence documents.

According to German private investigators working for the custodial parents, Paraguayan police believe the girls may be with their non-custodial parents in the municipality of La Colmena. But Paraguayan authorities have been reluctant to disrupt communities, parents say, possibly because they pour millions of dollars into the impoverished country each year. “We have very closed German communities, which makes the investigative task a bit difficult,” Mario Vallejos, deputy head of Paraguay’s anti-kidnapping department, said at the press conference. They are now asking citizens around the communities if they have ever seen the children.

The German Embassy in Paraguay reports that there are further reports of children brought into these communities by divorced parents. In 2021, more than 250 children are said to have been abducted by a non-custodial parent in Germany, up from 186 cases in the year before the pandemic and COVID restrictions.

Both custodians said they had been on good terms with their ex-spouses before the start of the strict COVID mandates in Germany. “We were the best separated parents,” said Blank at the press conference. “The best parents Lara could have had.”

Clara’s mother also made a request to her ex-husband at the conference. “Andreas, please end this situation that is making me and so many others sleepless. Please contact us or the lawyers or someone you trust. Let’s find a solution together. Clara and Lara certainly don’t feel comfortable in this situation. They can’t spend the rest of their childhood on the run,” she said. “I put all my hope in the Paraguayan people. Please help us I am a desperate mother.”

https://www.thedailybeast.com/were-clara-magdalena-egler-and-lara-valentina-blank-kidnapped-to-a-commune-by-covid-denialist-step-parents?source=articles&via=rss Were Clara Magdalena Egler and Lara Valentina Blank abducted to a commune by COVID-denying stepparents?


Hung is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Hung joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: hung@interreviewed.com.

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