We will, of course, appeal. In many ways this decision was just cosmetic and would have been appealed, and not enforced, either way. The 1st level State courts are truly the worst courts in the country and it's good to be, mostly, done with them.
What this decision shows though is that the Mexican officials in the actual city my son lives in remain totally hostile to my efforts to see my son or bring him home.
My wife's family has lots of connections in her home town of Salamanca. Her father, in particular, is an Engineer in the famously corrupt national oil company Pemex. Pemex has enormous influence around all of Mexico but has special influence in Salamanca, because of the oil refinery there -- it's the only one in the country (and the reason that the city is the most polluted location in the country if not the Western Hemisphere.)
I believe it is my father-in-law who really planned, financed and maintains this conflict. Since this has started he's repeatedly barged in and tried to intimidate or manipulate me. He's made a series of demands and conditions upon me in order to communicate with my son and told me I should work with him exclusively and avoid trying to deal with my wife directly. He's also repeatedly made threats. These types of tactics, threats, intimidation, etc are very ineffective with me. I grew up a poor Hispanic with an absent father and two sisters to look out for around a bunch kids who wanted to play gangsters. I don't scare easily in general (and I'd face a tank for my son anyway,) so I've mostly just blown off all of his blustering, but now I believe that he does the same thing to his daughter as well and she's not me and is financially totally dependent on him. He's manipulative and dishonest (explains where my wife got it from) and has taken my defiance of him as some sort of personal insult (it's actually more indifference than defiance but it amounts to the same for him and his over-sized ego.)
The crazy thing is, my wife has a half-brother her age that she's never met. Her father was having an affair and got his girlfriend pregnant at the same time as his wife. After they were born, his wife found out about the mistress and demanded he stop paying her bills or she would seek a divorce. The mistress responded by taking his first born son to the United States and they never saw him again. So my father-in-law knew all about international child abduction long before Sage was ever born. Sage is part of a second generation of international child abduction in that family.
Left to her own devices and free of my father-in-law's pressure I don't think my son's mother would have continued this for so long. I've seen her and it's very clear that this long-running conflict has taken a toll on her. She's looks 10 years older than she did 5 years ago. She may have been able to avoid returning to the US, but she hasn't been able to leave Salamanca, dump Sage with her parents or go off partying while collecting fat child support payments from a foreign father either. She's still married and stuck playing responsible mother while a legal case drags on for half a decade. I would have given her custody and child support in the United States if she'd come back. If she hadn't been so totally untrustworthy, unreliable and unsupportive of my rights as a father I would have been willing to even compromise with Sage living in Mexico most of the time or moved there myself. She knows this and has to pretend she's the victim both inside and outside court while knowing every moment of it deep down that she's the "bad guy." I'm actually very understanding and easy to compromise with within certain inflexible limits (like renouncing my son's legal rights or placing trust in the untrustworthy when it comes to life changing decisions about him.) She also knows that I love my son and it can't help that he looks a lot like me. There was just no need for it to go on this way for so long. She had many options to resolve this, but mistakenly assumed I would give up and beg her to see my son on her terms, but that's not possible. Part of my being a good father to my son is being a role model and man that he can look up to. Children learn more from what we do than what we say. My son has no reason to look up to a father who cannot, or will not, protect him from the abusive whims and horrible decisions of his mother or extended maternal family. She had many options as to how this played out. She left me only one.