Cross-border child abduction case may be coming to an end as girl comes forward


May 12, 2015

Souce: Washington post by Lindsey Bever

Last month in Guanajuato, Mexico, a 14-year-old was pulled — kicking and screaming — from her school, turned over to Interpol officers and flown more than 700 miles to Houston. Federal authorities in Mexico thought she was a girl who had been taken from a woman in Texas eight years earlier. But she wasn’t.

Watch the video here:

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Another girl claiming to be the woman’s actual daughter has now been turned over to authorities, an unnamed official told the Associated Press.

Mexico’s Foreign Ministry first heard about the case in 2007, when Houston resident Dorotea Garcia claimed her daughter, Alondra Diaz, was taken by the girl’s father and moved to Mexico without Garcia’s consent. The ministry got a request urging authorities to send the girl back home. Then this year, Garcia flew to Mexico and said she found her daughter, identifying another girl — Alondra Luna Nunez, Fox News Latino reported.

“I saw my daughter,” Garcia told a Houston TV station, according to the Guardian.

On April 16, Mexican federal agents, acting on a court order, pulled Alondra Luna Nunez from her school. The scene was captured on video, showing the girl screaming, “I am not your daughter,” as she is forced into the back of the car, the Guardian reported. At the time, her parents said, she was mistakenly identified based on a scar on her nose.

“The other girl had a scar, but on the eyebrow, and I have one on my nose. I mean all this was stirred up over that,” Alondra later told the AP. “The judge said, ‘No, it’s her,’ and that was that.”

In the following days, the video showing her seizure was shared widely on social media, eventually prompting the Mexican Foreign Ministry to request a DNA sample.

“The results of the test performed on Monday, April 20, resulted negative in respect to the mother who solicited the girl’s return,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “So an immediate repatriation of the minor was put into effect.”

Alondra Luna Nunez was reportedly put on a flight on April 22 to Mexico City. “They stole my daughter,” the girl’s mother, Susana Nunez told Milenio Television, according to Fox News Latino.

Alondra Diaz’s father, Reynaldo Diaz, had a felony warrant out for his arrest for the alleged abduction eight years ago in Houston. On Monday, his relatives in Michoacan, Mexico, 175 miles from Guanajuato, turned the girl over to authorities, the Houston Chronicle reported, citing Univision. The courts are looking over her paperwork and identification.

“At the beginning, [Reynaldo Díaz] was reluctant,” Juan Manuel Estrada, president of FIND, a Mexico-based organization that helps kidnapped and missing children, told Noticieros Televisa, according to the Latin Times. But eventually “he voluntarily agreed to return the girl,” adding that he is “a hard-working father who has for many years treated [his daughter] with love and care.”

“I hope the authorities simply make sure that this girl is truly her, that they have the right girl, Susana Nunez told the AP. If it turns out to be the right girl, “I’m happy for her and her mother.”

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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry quizzed on child abductions to India


March 1, 2015

Source: Thehindu.com

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry faced sharp questions on Capitol Hill this week on international child abductions to India, with lawmakers asking him whether he had brought up the subject with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his recent visit to New Delhi.

U.S. Secretary of State Kerry speaks about the Ukraine crisis after his meetings with other foreign ministers in Paris

“Did you raise child abduction with an emphasis on specific cases, like Bindu Philips, when you met with [Mr.] Modi in early January? What was Mr. Modi’s response,” Republican Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey asked, referring to a long-running abduction case here involving an Indian-American family.

An account of the hearing on Capitol Hill on Wednesday noted that Mr. Kerry replied that as a matter of course, he regularly raised cases of “missing Americans,” although he reportedly did not directly comment on the Philips case.

However, Mr. Kerry said: “We have a caseload of about a thousand international parental abduction cases, and we are trying to expand the Hague abduction convention to efforts throughout the world.” “We have approximately 75 professionals who are full-time, assisting parents with respect to this horrendous plight that they face,” he added.

International child abductions re-entered the spotlight a few months ago when President Barack Obama signed the Sean and David Goldman International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act. The law authorises the State Department to take a series of calibrated measures against India or any other country that does not facilitate the prompt return of an American child held there. The focus of this debate on India was spurred on by cases such as that of Ms. Philips, who has won custody of her twin sons in U.S. courts, though the Indian justice system has not seen fit to send them back to the U.S. from the custody of her father, Sunil Jacob, who allegedly took them to India in 2008 during a bitter divorce.

In July last, another major case involving India was in the spotlight, when U.S. authorities arrested Padmashini Devi Drees as soon as she landed in the country after allegedly fleeing the U.S. in 2006 with her son, Drew Drees, after divorcing his father Dean Drees.

A few years ago, Congressman Smith had described India as “a source of immense frustration and grief for American parents” and said “Although Indian courts make Hague-like decisions to return some children, returns are at best uneven,” and parents attempting to utilise India’s courts for the return of abducted children reported corruption and incessant delays.

The State Department’s website highlights the fact that India is not party to the 1983 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction and also not a U.S. Treaty Partner under the convention.

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