July 21, 2024 | 12:00

Bilbao

Civil Guard reunites alive man after 20 years missing in Bilbao

Mairenis Gomez

March 27, 2024 | 3:30 p.m.

The astonishing case of the reappearance of a man who disappeared in Bilbao more than Two decades

The story that I have to tell you today, dear citizens of Bilbao and the province of Bizkaia, is not one of those that you hear every day. It is a story of disappearance, of tireless search and, finally, of an unexpected reunion. On March 19 of this year, The Civil Guard achieved what many thought was impossible, find alive a man who had disappeared from the streets of our beloved Bilbao more than two decades ago.

The intense search and challenges faced by the Civil Guard of Bizkaia

Let's put ourselves in context. It was in 2009 when the alarm went off. The ex-wife, children and brothers of this man filed a complaint in Barakaldo, explaining that they had lost all contact with him since the first day of 2003. The latest rumors suggested that he could be living on the streets of the Zorrotza neighborhood, facing both medical and financial difficulties. But the reality was even more complicated.

The efforts of the Civil Guard were not limited to the conventional. After applying the Protocol Action in Cases of Missing Persons of the CNDES, even taking DNA samples and investigating civil registries and town halls.

A discovery that reveals the whereabouts of a nomadic life

But the unexpected turn came when they discovered an active bank account in Navarra. It was a thin, but real, thread that led investigators to Caparroso. Where they finally found the individual, safe and sound, on March 19. Even more surprising, since 2007, the man had been living with a family of carnies. Traveling through northern Spain without contact with his previous family.

The emotional and social impact of a voluntary disappearance

This case opens a debate about voluntary disappearances. The delicate balance between individual privacy and the immense pain experienced by those left behind comes into play here. A person's decision to start over, leaving everything behind, raises difficult questions about freedom and family and social responsibilities.

The persistence of the Civil Guard and the collaboration with the National Center for Disappeared Persons

Beyond disappearance: the importance of community and the value of perseverance

Furthermore, it is crucial to highlight that in Bizkaia, as in the rest of the world, each disappearance is a personal story, a void, a series of birthdays and Christmases without an answer. But it is also important to highlight the work of institutions such as the Civil Guard and the CNDES.. Whose perseverance and dedication can, as in this case, eventually lead to a resolution, closing a chapter that remained open for too long.

This case not only tells us about the resolution of a mystery; teaches us about resilience, both individual and collective. As citizens of Bilbao and the province of Bizkaia, we can feel proud of the security network that surrounds us, of the empathy and effort of our security forces. But it should also serve as a reminder to us, behind each case there is a story, a name, a life that, in some way, continues to be interwoven with ours.

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