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Jeanne M. Hannah

Carlos, you are absolutely correct. Mexico has one of the worst records. I corrected this in the post. Thanks for taking the time to respond to this. Jeanne


"where the foreign country involved is not only a signatory to the Hague Convention but is also a country (not Brazil, not Japan, not Honduras, for example) that has a history of honoring the convention rather than trashing it."

Why must everyone implicitly give Mexico a pass? Not to imply that you are the only one who has done so or even did it intentionally, but this is something I see happen repeatedly. I'm not sure if it's the soft-bigotry of low expectations or a generally racist disdain for all things Mexican (including children with at least half Mexican decent.) Japan, of course, has never signed the Hague Convention. At least twenty children are taken to Mexico for every one that is taken to Brazil, Japan or Honduras (which nearly lacks a functioning government altogether.) Brazil signed the Convention in 2003, 12 years after Mexico did so in 1991. Brazil also provides excellent, and free, legal representation to victim parents (that their court system is ineffective is a separate issue.)

In a speech last year Ernie Allen said 65% of all children abducted to a Hague country were taken to Mexico. Mexico's been highlighted on every Compliance Report as either noncompliant or demonstrating a pattern of noncompliance since the reports began in 1999 including being deemed fully noncompliant in 2009.

Much is made of Middle-Eastern countries custodial bias for fathers but the fact that Mexican laws mirror that preference for mothers is not considered noteworthy as far as I can tell. In over two years of searching I've yet to find a single case of a child abducted to Mexico by a mother holding Mexican citizenship being returned via extradition or the Hague Convention. That the State Dept. won't publicly highlight this fact doesn't justify the broader legal and journalistic communities apparent ignorance of it. We share a 2000 mile border with Mexico completely lacking in exit controls and they are overwhelming our most active treaty partner but when we discuss the problem countries for international child abduction we focus on Austria, Switzerland, Brazil, Japan, Germany or Honduras.

When I allowed my son to travel to Mexico I did so completely ignorant of the fact that they were the world's leading abductor of American children. I've even seen attorneys, ostensibly experts in family law, giving advice online about how Mexico has "an excellent track record of honoring the Hague Convention." As much as Mexico's noncompliance angers me I find the unwillingness to acknowledge that the problem exists in this country a far more disturbing issue. A problem cannot be prevented until it has been defined.

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