Brotherly Love: Colombian Switched Twins Pull Together



Two pairs of identical twins who were mixed up soon after they were born in 1988 and grew up apart, found each other 25 years later through a combination of chance events. It all started when a colleague of Bogota office worker Jorge Enrique Bernal Castro went to buy meat at William Canas Velasco's butcher's shop and couldn't believe how similar her colleague and the butcher looked. Intrigued by the similarities, she took a photo of the butcher and showed it to Jorge, who was dumbstruck. His curiosity piqued, Jorge got in touch with the butcher and the two met up. Their surprise was doubled when they realized that the person they had up until now believed to be their respective fraternal twins, Carlos Bernal Castro and Wilber Canas Velasco, bore a striking resemblance to each other. William and Jorge were born on December 21, 1988 in the Materno Infantil Hospital in Bogota. Wilber and Carlos were born a day later in northern Santander province. All four were born prematurely at seven months, and when Carlos fell ill, he was taken along with Wilber to the Materno Infantil Hospital to be treated. Jorge thinks that both pairs of twins were placed in the same room and that one or more of the identifying wristbands they were wearing fell off and were then placed on the wrong babies. They all left hospital on the same day, with their mothers none the wiser. They had to rewrite their lives, which had been upended in many ways by the discovery that the "brother" they had grown up with was not a blood relative at all and that instead they had an identical twin they didn't know about. Now, they're planning to travel together and even buy a house together for all four to live in. For all the differences between each pair of twins, there's something all four share — the will to build a positive relationship out of an event that had the potential to cause pain, and the determination to see a brother regardless of blood ties.