CHILD ABDUCTION CASE IN MEXICO ENDS HAPPILY
Our heartiest congratulations to our British client whose tiny baby was abducted by the Mexican father from Texas to Mexico.
The mother and her family endured months of unbelievable worry, fueled further by the father's death threats and outrageous claims as he was “on the run” in Mexico. The family mounted a campaign of civil and criminal cases, enlisted the support of governmental officials in three countries and remained focused throughout on the goal of doing whatever was needed to get the child out of the hands of a very dangerous person. In the end psychological manipulation seems to have done the trick.
Mexico is a very difficult place in which to track down a child and get results but this family has pulled it off. They are now home, safe and sound, in England.
A very happy Christmas to them all!
THE AMPARO IN MEXICO
Regarding legal recourse to protection (recurso de amparo) for child custody disputes, the NCMEC report explained:
In Mexico, there is a procedure called the Amparo which literally translated, means protection or help. An Amparo is a procedure that may be taken to review the constitutionality of an action of an executive agency, a court or a judgment itself (2002, 5).
In its document on international child abduction, the US Department of State noted that, in Mexico, [a]n amparo is a claim that a constitutional right has been violated by a government agency or a government process. When there is an amparo filed in a case, all action ceases until the amparo has been ruled on - often many months later. An amparo can be filed at any time during the case, so the case can be stayed even before a judge can rule. Decisions on amparos can be appealed, further delaying action by the judge (n.d.).
There are three possible outcomes to an amparo case: the amparo is denied (the court judges that no violation of constitutional rights has taken place); the amparo is granted (the court decides "that a violation of constitutional rights has occurred"); or, the amparo is dismissed based on "technical or procedural grounds (lack of standing)" (Zamora et al 2004, 272).
According to Zamora et al, an amparo is limited by a number of factors, including its "procedural complexities" which make its use prohibitively expensive and inaccessible for many, and because it is an inherently slow procedure (2004, 273-274). Zamora et al conclude that, the amparo acts as a final avenue of appeal for parties that have not secured the judgment they were seeking (2004, 274). In this sense, Zamora et al claim that amparo is often "used as a delaying tactic in civil disputes that have little to do with constitutional guarantees" (2004, 274). The US Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs also noted that the amparo has caused significant delays in several international abduction cases (n.d.), and was of "serious concern" regarding Mexico's compliance with the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (2005).