Daniel Mercado

at Estudio Mercado
+54 911 37041600
Buenos Aires - Montevideo

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I am a lawyer with over 35 years of professional experience, currently leading my own law firm with offices in the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires and in Pilar, Buenos Aires Province. I have been working independently for over twenty years.

I began my career in the City of La Rioja in 1986 and practiced until 1995 when I was appointed as a Federal Prosecutor based in the Capital Federal. I resigned from that position at the end of 1996 and have since dedicated myself to private practice.

My focus is on handling cases involving prevention and response to international child abduction, child sexual abuse, bullying, and other assaults on minors within educational institutions and other social and sports organizations, such as football and rugby clubs.

The topics I address include:

  • International Child Abduction
  • Child sexual abuse, bullying, and other assaults on minors
  • Civil and criminal liability of educational staff in cases of sexual abuse, mistreatment, grooming, humiliation, or school bullying
  • Methods of prevention and quick response
  • Obligations of teaching and non-teaching staff
  • Exemptions from liability and justifying causes
  • Development of protocols for prevention and response

In my legal practice, I specialize in the defense, both civil and criminal, of victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, child abduction, and related issues.

I am the author of the book \”International Child Abduction and Restitution\” (Editorial Dunken, 2012), and I am currently writing the book \”Child Sexual Abuse and other assaults on minors,\” which is in the correction stage.

In the firm, we handle cases in the jurisdictions of the Capital Federal, Buenos Aires Province, Argentine Provinces, and also internationally, collaborating with recognized local firms.

We have a strong professional support, infrastructure, and administrative assistance, allowing us to provide personalized attention and daily monitoring of all entrusted matters, ensuring the client\’s safety and the effectiveness of our professional work.

I speak Spanish and English.
Subsidized legal aid is possible

Relevant experiences and positions

Decision making model

In the practice of my profession, I have worked in all the roles provided by the different procedural frameworks of the jurisdictions where I have been involved, including: Federal Prosecutor of the Attorney General\’s Office
By appointment of Superior Courts, I was designated to act Ad Hoc in the following positions:
Ad Hoc Judge of the Oral Trial Court
Ad Hoc Judge of the Civil Appeals Chamber
Ad Hoc Public Defender
Ad Hoc Representative of the Public Defender\’s Office for Minors
Ad Hoc Judge of the first instance
Ad Hoc First Instance Criminal and Correctional Prosecutor
Private Prosecutor/private complainant
Civil Plaintiff
Private Injured Party
Ad Hoc Representative of the Public Guardian\’s Office
As a Federal Prosecutor (officially titled: Mobile Prosecuting Attorney) at the Attorney General\’s Office, I have acted in processes handled in the Correctional, Civil, Criminal Investigation, Federal Criminal and Correctional, Economic Criminal of the Federal Capital, and Federal Interior of the Country.
I have also participated as a Private Defender, Private Prosecutor, Civil Plaintiff, and Private Injured Party on different occasions. I have been appointed to act as \”Ad Hoc\” in civil and criminal processes, serving as a Chamber Judge in Civil and Criminal cases, First Instance Judge in Civil and Criminal cases, Official Defender, Investigating Prosecutor, and Representative of the Public Guardian\’s Office.

Advisory services for international cases
United Kingdom

United States of America
In the Court of the State of California, County of San Diego, Central Division, Case D532147, in charge of the Judge Lorna Alksne, domiciled at 1555 Sixth Avenue, San Diego, California, United States of America.

Republic of Uruguay
Family Appeals Court, 2nd Shift: In the case titled: “EXHORTATION FOR INTERNATIONAL RESTITUTION OF MINORS UNDER 16 YEARS”, number IUE 2-62753/2023 – Sentence 193/2023

Cour d’ appel de Versailles 13 Chambre Correctionnelle minute 54/2022 Parquet 20064000194

Case 849425, http://www.cancilleria.gov.co/

Areas of Practice

Family law
Domestic violence – Family violence
Child custody
Joint custody
Sole custody
International child abduction
International abduction and restitution of minors
Relocation and residence of minors abroad
Abuse and other sexual offenses against minors
Contested divorces
Visitation rights
Alimony – Child support
Personal protection
Protection of minors in situations of neglect
Damages and civil liability of public officials, educators, guardians, etc.

Public Positions

Legal Advisor to the Board of the Provincial Social Work (1987/1992)
Adjunct Professor, Commercial Law Department, University of La Rioja (1990/1995) (Honorary)
Federal Prosecutor at the Attorney General\’s Office (1995/1996)


Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (Vol. 65, Page 484 Federal Court of Córdoba)
Public Bar Association of the Federal Capital. (Volume 64 – Page 478)
Bar Association of Buenos Aires
Bar Association of San Isidro Buenos Aires Province (Volume XXIX – Page 319)
Bar Association of La Rioja (mat. 733)

Committee Memberships

Member of the network of specialist family lawyers, REUNITE INTERNATIONAL United Kingdom
Member of the Argentine Association of Fiscal Studies (A.A.E.F.)
Member of the Commission for Studies in Tax Criminal Law of the A.A.E.F.
Member of the Argentine Center for Studies in Tax Criminal Law
Assistant Professor in the Commercial Law Department for the Accounting degree in 1988

Published Books

International Abduction and Restitution of Minors, Dunker Editiorial, 2012
Child Sexual Abuse, Bullying, and other Offenses against Minors (currently under correction)

Other Publications in:

Journal of the Bar Association of Zárate-Campana
Journal of the Argentine Center for Studies in Tax Criminal Law
The Fund Pro Latin America
Ámbito Financiero Newspaper
Infobae Newspaper


On multiple occasions, I have given conferences on topics related to the search you are conducting, including:
Talk on \”Domestic Violence\” at the General San Martín University in conjunction with the Psychology Department on May 28, 1997
\”Workshop on \’What is abuse, how to prevent and react to sexual abuse,\’\” in the \”Gender Equity and Empowerment of Young Leaders Vision 2020 – Sixth Edition\” program, organized by the Global Argentina Foundation, October 2017, Banco Ciudad Auditorium (see Global Foundation)

Some personal questions

What is your opinion on/ experience with the interests of siblings in child relocation cases?
I believe that siblings should stay together beyond the individual plans of adults.

What is your (practical) advice to parents, to make relocation easier for a child?
The first thing parents should do to make relocation easier for a child is to surround them with a friendly environment where they can quickly establish a new center of life and build bonds with their peers, who will add to the friends they left in their previous residence.

When did you first handle a child abduction case?
My first case was in the year 1988, in the City of La Rioja, where the restitution to Chile was achieved

Why is it interesting for you as a lawyer to work on these cases?
Because every child abduction case involves an underlying relationship issue that culminates in the relocation of a minor to another city or country.
And discerning those conflicts is a professional challenge.

What makes a child abduction case different from other cases?
The difference from other cases is that the motives behind the decision to engage in child abduction are very varied. Sometimes it is to escape a situation of violence, other times to achieve a better quality of life; sometimes it is to form a new relationship, and so on.

Which child abduction case will you never forget?
A case I had in 2017, where my client retained her children in the UK. After a tough legal battle in both Argentina and the UK, the decision went against international restitution. My client and her children ended up living in the UK. Everything turned out for the better with the children and the rest of the family, including the father.

What do you think is important to do or not do as an attorney in child abduction cases?
I think the most important thing is to have a comprehensive strategy and plan the steps carefully to achieve success.

What do you think all people should know about child abduction cases?
People should know that we are in a completely globalized world. Interaction between people from different countries is instant, and the possibility of changing country of residence is easier than before, so the relocation of children is an issue that should be taken into account. On the other hand, they should consider that couples of different nationalities are prone to facing these types of circumstances.

What is your advice for parents who are dealing with a case of child abduction?
\”My advice is to immediately file a criminal complaint to initiate the process without giving time for the child to adapt to the new environment.\”

Do you advice parents to file criminal charges in case of child abduction?
\”In Argentina, criminal charges can be filed for deprivation of contact with the minor.
Penal Code – Law 24,270 It is established as a crime for a parent or third party to prevent or obstruct contact of minors with their non-cohabiting parents.\”

Do you think your country is dealing well with criminal cases concerning child abduction?
\”In Argentina, child abduction by one of the parents is not considered an independent crime. Article 146 of the Code simply states: \’Anyone who kidnaps a child under 10 years of age from the custody of their parents, guardian, or person in charge of them, and anyone who detains or conceals the child, shall be punished with imprisonment or confinement for 5 to 15 years.\’\”

What is your advice to parents who are facing criminal charges of child abduction?
\”My advice for those facing criminal charges of child abduction is to appear and defend themselves immediately, offering all the evidence they have. In Argentina, only UNJUSTIFIED deprivation of contact with the minor is punished.\”

What are the complicated aspects of criminal cases concerning child abduction?
The complexity in criminal cases related to child abduction is that the legal proceedings take place in one country (Argentina), while the accused is located in another country.


Decision making model

Blogs from

Daniel Mercado

Blogs from

Daniel Mercado

Towards a Comprehensive Approach to International Child Abduction Situations

Towards a Comprehensive Approach to International Child Abduction Situations