U.S. : Child abductions from and to Mexico

by | May 30, 2022

Most abduction cases (inbound and outbound) in the United States involve cases in which children have been abducted to or from Mexico.

The Hague Convention on Child Abduction has been in effect between the two countries since 1991, but in practice it has little effect.
This may be because the Mexican authorities are unable to locate the child in Mexico or because of (years of) long delays in the return procedure due to (several) ‘amparos’, which causes the return procedure to be postponed until the ‘amparo’ has been dealt with.

In addition, there may be problems with the enforcement of court decisions.

This also applies to extradition requests based on a child abduction conviction. Extradition is possible if it involves an offense that is punishable in both countries, with a prison sentence of one year or more. Despite those conditions being met in the case of a child abduction extradition request, extradition is rarely requested by U.S. authorities. If they do, it is because Mexico is under no obligation to extradite its own nationals and therefore regularly refuses to do so.

The problems of border control and surveillance also play a role.