Remedios Fernández Flores has been alive since 1985. She has a human form and is the daughter of her mother. Three necessary data to exercise your right to vote, to unemployment benefits and municipal subsidies, to go to a concert if you wanted or to take a trip and, above all, to exist. But she does not have a National Identity Document (DNI), therefore, she is a person separated from the system, who lives on the margins where it is not contemplated that she is a citizen who meets the requirements to have a “normal” life: “I feel abandoned for the world. I am nobody. ”
The DNI or NIF (Tax Identification Number) is the letter of passage for any procedure that is required in Spain. It is personal and non-transferable, it serves to prove the identity and personal data of the owner and, in addition, it is mandatory to have it from the age of 14. This information, so basic and intuitive that anyone enjoys, has been the main stumbling block in Remedios’ life during her 35 years. He opens the wallet and can’t get it out. So one of her biggest fears is being detained by the police and that, when asking for the documentation, she cannot give them any answer that satisfies them and go to the police station.
She comes from the neighborhood of Los Pajaritos, in Seville, she cannot read or write and is of gypsy ethnicity. He prefers to believe that his origins are not a reason for discrimination, but he also fails to understand what is happening to him. It all begins when her mother, María Fernández, did not register her at birth during the first two months established by law. However, she and the other Remedios siblings do have the document since they are of legal age as of having made the requests on their own. Why is she different?
A family book, DNA evidence and witnesses to prove your identity
The path began in 2008 when Remedios made her first attempt: she went to the Civil Registry of Seville to process a request for registration of birth after the deadline. It is the document that initiates the process within the voluntary jurisdiction, that is, a magistrate supervises the events that do not involve conflict between parties. Without sufficient financial resources, she needed a public defender and the necessary evidence was gathered: fingerprints, that there was no one like her in the Registry of Seville, and witnesses who could prove her origin and roots.
But in the study of the case, a police record appeared, which means that their data had been requested by a police officer some time ago, which should not be confused with a criminal record, where the person has been firmly convicted. It was stated in the file that he was born in 1983 in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. In view of this information, confirmation was required from the Civil Registry of the Canarian city and the response was that there was no one registered with that name.
“I was a girl and I said the first thing that crossed my mind,” says Remedios, “I was afraid of what could happen to me and I made those excuses.” Lying to the police is not a crime. However, the Registry judge denied that there was no person in Gran Canaria with such an identity and rejected the request in October of that same year. Meanwhile, the young woman had two children, one in May 2011 and the other in December 2013, at which time she was given a provisional card in the health system.
There is an important turning point here, since her descendants are registered in the family book, along with her partner and herself, despite not having a DNI. “This exception is unique, since it contains her name and surnames, so it shows inconsistencies in the operation of the system. She even has a social security number!” 2016 when he decided to ask friends and family for help to add savings to help his cause.
No opportunity to access the Minimum Living Income and other aid
The lawyer explains that, then, he went to the General Directorate of Legal Security and Public Faith -former General Directorate of Registries and Notaries- belonging to the Ministry of Justice, from where a favorable report was provided to the case. Having this in their hands, they proceed to register another request: “This time we provide a DNA test, which must be done by the notary, who guards and sends the tests to the certified laboratory, given that Remedios is the daughter of her mother María with a 99 , 73% reliability “. In addition, the family book is provided “in which it appears with the date of birth of November 23, 1985”, and it is notified “that there is no one in Seville called Remedios Flores Fernández, Fernández Flores, Flores Flores and Fernández Fernández “.
The combination avoids any doubt about the existence of another person. To top it off, three new witnesses are summoned: the mother, who had a delicate state of health, a niece and a neighbor to confirm that they know her and that she has always lived in the area. “But they deny us the request again because the judge refers to that police report from the Canary Islands, in which it is known that there is no individual there like her, and says that there have been no elements that differentiate the first procedure from this other”, affirms the jurist, “and adds that the genetic test was done outside the judicial process, ignoring that it is certified by a notary and a qualified laboratory”.
“I do not exist”
The road has been very long and difficult, so much so that Remedios has suffered from anxiety and depressive episodes. “I want them to give me a justified reason; we have contributed everything that his honor has said and there is no way,” he claims. The judge in charge of the Seville Civil Registry has rejected other striking requests, such as the denial of Spanish nationality to a Moroccan citizen who did not know the names of the political parties.
The difficulties that it entails in Remedios’ life are many. For example, your family cannot be a beneficiary of the subsidies granted by the Minimum Living Income. The couple of the affected woman went to request it from the administration of the Seville City Council, but without the DNI they cannot prove that they have lived together the last decade or access the 10,714.48 euros that correspond to them because they are two adults in charge of two minors . An episode that has been repeated on different occasions before the aid they have processed.
“The next step is to carry out a declarative process, which we have already registered in the courts of Seville, for the recognition of maternity of the mother of Remedios, since the appeal was rejected again at the beginning of 2021”, indicates Fernando Camisón. “The setback is that there is still no date. I have trials scheduled for 2023, so we do not know how long this route will take.” Colleagues from the judicial union indicate that they do not know of any other similar matter because it is usually resolved without further detriment to those affected, and they do not understand that the procedure has been slowed down so many times, especially when presenting favorable reports from the Ministry to the issuance of the DNI .
In a constant wait, the Sevillian continues in the middle of a legal vacuum. “What I would most like in the world is to have a DNI to live a normal life with my children like anyone else, because it is not only me, it also affects my family. I do not exist, they throw me out from everywhere, and I cannot continue living like this. ”