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Iruan Wu says he will come to Taiwan again

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- A Taiwanese-Brazilian teenager who is back for a visit after being caught up in a custody battle in Taiwan a decade ago said yesterday he will never forget his relatives in Kaohsiung and will visit again in the future.

During a visit to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' (MOFA) headquarters in Taipei yesterday, the 18-year-old Iruan Ergui Wu, known in Taiwan as Wu Yi-hua (吳憶樺), said the most memorable thing during his trip is his Taiwanese relatives' hometown in Kaohsiung, where he spent three years of his childhood.

He said he enjoyed his stay in the country and he will come visit again in the future should the opportunity arise.

Wu added that he made a lot of friends in Taiwan and will continue to keep in touch with them, as well as his relatives in Kaohsiung via the Internet after he returns to Brazil.

During his visit to MOFA, Wu was received by Wu Rong-chuan (吳榮泉), chairman of the ministry's NGO Affairs Committee, Taiwan's former top envoy to Brazil Louis Chou (周國瑞), and Ramon Chen (陳宗賢), former head of Taiwan's representative office in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

All three of the MOFA officials had offered assistance to Wu during the custody battle that saw the Taiwanese-Brazilian torn between the two countries nearly a decade ago.

Wu is about to conclude his three-week tour in Taiwan and is scheduled to head back to Brazil this Sunday.

He previously spent a few days in Kaohsiung with his uncle Wu Huo-yen (吳火眼) and Taiwanese relatives as well as old school friends.

The trip was arranged by the Taiwan Catholic Mission Foundation (天主教博愛基金會). MOFA provided a NT$200,000 subsidy for Wu's trip. Wu is visiting the country with his foster mother and brother.

The Story of Wu

Wu was born to a Taiwanese father, Wu Teng-shu (吳豋樹), and a Brazilian mother in 1995. The father later left the family in Brazil shortly after Wu's birth.

Three years later, Iruan Ergui Wu's grandmother, Rosa Leocadia DaSilva Ergui, was awarded custody of Wu after his mother died of cancer.

In 2001, Wu Teng-shu took the younger Wu to visit family members in Taiwan, but when the father died two weeks later, Wu Huo-yen (吳火眼) decided to keep the boy in Kaohsiung.

DaSilva Ergui later came to Taiwan to bring the boy back to Brazil, marking the beginning of lengthy legal proceedings that lasted more than two years before the Taiwan High Court ruled in her favor.

Wu was later taken from his uncle's home on Feb. 10, 2004. Back in Brazil, Wu was later adopted by a German couple because of his grandmother's poor physical health.

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