At the approach of Christmas 2015, Analiz Gutierrez experienced a mother’s worst nightmare; having her baby girl taken away from her. It was the start of a custody battle that would prove challenging for the mother who told the media some months ago that she was the victim of domestic violence and in fear, she left her husband, Ernesto Barrera Guzman in Guatemala and relocated to Belize with family members. Dissatisfied with not having full custody of the little girl, the father took the matter to the courts and just before Christmas last year the baby was taken to Guatemala and the legal battle began. Over the last few days, however, there has been a breakthrough in the case as Baby Nina who just turned three years old on October 23 has been reunited with her mother. Baby Nina and her mother are still in Guatemala finalizing the paperworks but we did manage to hear from Gutierrez who told Love News of her experience.
“For the past year the experience that my family and myself have lived in trying to bring baby Nina has been very challenging. There were moments where our faith was tested, there were moments where we had to be very strong and united as a family to give ourselves motivation to keep going and to not give up even when times were rough. Our faith increased on a whole, we all grew as persons because this was a very hard experience for all of us. Myself I’ve had to go out of my comfort zones, push through a lot of fear that as a mother whose child has been ripped from her to go through emotional challenges and basically never give up. Thankfully I’ve always had the support from my family and friends which was very crucial for me in being able to keep focused on my mission to bring my daughter back home. “
Gutierrez feared that the Guatemalan courts would have given custody to her estranged husband but as luck would have it, some unrelated incidents surfaced during the trial which led to the house arrest of the father pending further investigations. This arrest proved to be in favor of Gutierrez as it made their case stronger. Gutierrez told Love News that even the judges were surprised at the revelations.
“Well on my arrival to Guatemala we promptly hired our lawyers Guillermo and Anita Cambranes. My lawyers worked very hard to push the case and to help me recover my daughter as soon as possible. Judges in Guatemala expressed that it was the first time they have come across such a difficult case where there was so much disobedience by one of the parties. On the 25th of October after being able to get ahold of Nina and her father thanks to the police and other authorities the Guatemalan judge was able to place Nina back in my care where she rightfully belongs.”
Baby Nina was a little over two years old when she was taken from her mom and now that they are reunited, Gutierrez says things are looking up.
“Nina had definitely been affected a lot by all of this as she did not recognize me at first. Her father had denied me all contact with her and I hadn’t seen her since February when the Belizean judged ordered her return to Guatemala. Nevertheless in little time we have reconnected and she now recalls and recognizes that I am her mother. Currently there are some final legal preparations that Nina and I have to go through before our return to Belize.”
Gutierrez is to return to court in January 2016 to finalize the matter before the Family Court Judge in Guatemala. She and Baby Nina are expected back in Belize by mid-November.