Kidnappings in Mexico: 11 kidnapped in daylight from Mexico City bar


May 31, 2013

Source: nbcnews

MEXICO CITY — Eleven young people were brazenly kidnapped in broad daylight from a bar in Mexico City’s Zona Rosa, a normally calm district of offices, restaurants, drinking spots and dance clubs, anguished relatives said Thursday.

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The apparent mass abduction purportedly happened sometime between 10 a.m. and noon on Sunday just off the Paseo de la Reforma, the city’s main boulevard, near the Angel of Independence monument and less than two blocks from the U.S. Embassy.

The incident was the second recent high-publicity blemish for the city’s largely unregulated entertainment scene, coming 20 days after the grandson of American civil rights activist Malcolm X was beaten to death at another tough bar in the downtown area.

Calling for authorities to find their loved ones, family members marched Thursday morning from the Interior Department building to the Zocalo, the city’s main square. Later they protested outside the bar, which bears a sign that reads Bicentenario Restaurante-Bar, and demanded to see the bar’s surveillance video.

“How could so many people have disappeared, just like that, in broad daylight?” asked Josefina Garcia, mother of Said Sanchez Garcia, 19, her only son. “The police say they don’t have them, so what, the earth just opened up and swallowed them?”

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She said her son wasn’t involved in any criminal activity, and worked at a market stall selling beauty products.

City prosecutors said they had received 11 missing-person reports, but Garcia said residents of the tough downtown neighborhood of Tepito where the victims live thought as many as 15 or 16 people could have been abducted.

The known missing include six men, most in their 20s, a 16-year-old boy and four young women.

While no clear motives had been revealed in the attack, residents of Tepito said there has been a wave of abductions of neighborhood young people in recent months that could be related to organized crime activities. Tepito is the center of black market activities in the city, where guns, drugs, stolen goods and contraband are widely sold.

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Mass abductions have been rare in Mexico City, but are common in parts of the country where drug cartels operate and are fighting with rival gangs over territory.

Prosecutors slapped closure stickers on the front doors of the Mexico City bar Thursday, with inscriptions saying the city’s anti-kidnapping unit was investigating abductions at the site.

Late Thursday night, dozens of members of a special police intervention unit, many carrying automatic weapons and wearing helmets and bulletproof vests, blocked off the street in front of the bar and searched inside. Officers would not comment on what they were looking for.

Isabel Fonseca, whose brother is among those missing, said a man who escaped told her that masked men arrived in several white SUVs and took the group away. She said her brother, Eulogio Fonseca, is a street vendor who sells cellphone accessories.

“We want them alive,” Fonseca said. “They went out to have fun; they are not criminals.”

Mexico City’s chief prosecutor, Rodolfo Rios, said investigators had been able to glean little information on the disappearances.

Relatives believe the youths were at the club, which they know as “Heaven,” around midmorning Sunday, when waiters and bar employees herded them out to the street and armed men bundled them into waiting vehicles and spirited them away.

Rios said police had not located any employees of the bar and no other witnesses had presented themselves.

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Parental abduction in Japan – Child-snatchers


Source: The Economist

A dark side to family life in Japan

THIS Christmas Moises Garcia, a Nicaraguan living in America, got the gift he had spent almost four years and $350,000 fighting for: the return of his nine-year-old daughter. In 2008 Karina was whisked away to Japan by her Japanese mother. He set about fighting in the Japanese courts for the right to see her. During that period, he met her only three times. Their longest meeting lasted for only two hours.

Then he had a stroke of luck. Last April Karina’s mother travelled to Hawaii to renew her green card. She was arrested at the airport and charged with violating Karina’s custody agreement. As part of a plea bargain, the mother relinquished Karina, who became the first child seized by a Japanese parent to be returned to America via the courts. (Feel sorry for Karina, in the middle of this tug-of-love.)

Because of such cases, America is one of many countries that has pressed Japan to honour its promise to join the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. Japan proposes to do so this year. The convention sets rules for the prompt return to their normal country of residence of children under 16 who have been abducted by one of their parents. The State Department says Japan has about 100 such cases involving children of Americans. There are scores from other countries, too.

But for one category of parents—those living in Japan without access to their children—the Hague convention changes nothing. When parents separate, Japan’s legal system does not recognise the joint custody of children common in other jurisdictions. Instead, children are put into the custody of a single parent after divorce. The family courts usually grant custody to the parent, most often the mother, who at that particular moment is in possession of the child—even if the parent has abducted him. The courts rarely enforce the stingy visitation rights of the “left-behind” parent. And so many fathers, in particular, vanish altogether from their children’s lives. Every year as many as 150,000 divorced parents in Japan lose contact with their children, according to estimates gleaned from official data. Some do so of their own accord, but most have no say in the matter.

One such father, an ex-deputy mayor, describes the system as a conjugal version of the prisoner’s dilemma. He says that when a marriage starts to break down, the unspoken question is: who will seize the child first, the mum or the dad? In his case, she did. For two years he has had no contact with his four-year-old daughter—even his presents are returned unopened—and all with the blessing of the family court. When he reminded the judge that the civil code had been changed to encourage visitation rights, the judge silenced him.

Satsuki Eda, who as justice minister last year pushed through the change in the civil code, says he hopes it will lead to more generous visitation rights. It may, he also hopes, one day lead to a serious consideration of joint custody. But, he cautions, judges are conservative, finding it “very difficult to change their minds”. And so, in a cruel twist, a country that has long sought redress for the past abduction of a few dozen citizens by the North Korean state tacitly supports vast numbers of abductions each year at home. “Many people in my situation commit suicide,” the estranged father says. “I can understand the feeling.”

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Parental Abduction News: Fox Point Dad Gets Daughter Back From Japan In Time For Christmas


We are very happy to share this news with you all

Source: WISN.COM

Karina Garcia Arrived In United States Friday Morning

MILWAUKEE — A 9-year-old girl is back with her father in Milwaukee following an international custody battle between an American parent and the Japanese government. It was a battle that many other American parents have never won.

Karina Garcia arrived from Japan Friday morning after her Fox Point father fought for nearly four years to regain custody. She was taken four years ago by her mother and held in Japan.

Karina’s dad talked to 12 News as they were on their way home from the Chicago airport heading to Fox Point.

“She’s nervous in the beginning. She told me she was overwhelmed from the, so many people around. But now, with me and my sister, she is actually sleeping. So she’s doing OK,” Dr. Moises Garcia said.

A Milwaukee judge ruled in November that Garcia’s Japanese ex-wife, Emiko Inoue, would remain jailed until their daughter was returned to Wisconsin. On Friday, Inoue was set free from a Milwaukee jail.

“For me, it’s going to be just about building the relationship again, and trying to be her friend and her dad at the same time,” Moises Garcia said. “It’s important that she has choices, and it’s important that she start building trust. And I told her that she’s going to see her parents, her grandparents and her mom in the future, hopefully very soon.”

Moises Garcia called it a miracle having his little girl home for Christmas, and he’s hoping the Japanese government realizes all children deserve two parents.

“Hopefully, children that still have no access to their parents over there will have them. And I think that will be my New Year’s resolution for now, but this is a big gift from God,” he said.

Karina’s dad said she is already asking about when school starts and wants to play with neighborhood friends.

Karina’s mother has agreed to stay in the United States for three years as part of the court decision.

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