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Author Topic: Sage Bermudez Abduction Case  (Read 25937 times)

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Offline SageDad

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Sage Bermudez Abduction Case
« on: March 02, 2009, 01:37:01 AM »
Sage was born May 14th, 2007. It has been nearly nine months that Ive been struggling to have my 20 month old son, Sage, returned home from Mexico. In June 2008 my wife claimed there was a “family emergency” in Tucson, AZ. Ironically, as the story went, the emergency involved her cousin, a 12 year old boy who had gone missing. The elaborate story claimed that the mother of the boy was an undocumented illegal alien and was scared to go to the authorities for fear of being deported. The boy had gone out w/ his uncle to McDonald’s where it was suspected that they’d been picked up by the US Border Patrol. Although his mother was illegal the boy was born in the US. The problem was that he had a learning disability, a hearing problem and didn’t speak good English so would have a hard time explaining himself to the authorities. My wife’s mother asked her to go down there to help since she had studied law in Mexico and is licensed to practice there and a legal US Resident. She went to AZ for what was supposedly going to be a few days. Once there she turned off her phone and via email said that Sage had thrown it in the bath tub but she was “looking for another phone to call with”. She never seemed to find a phone and for several weeks I continued to receive emails that she was looking for one and that she was still working to resolve the family emergency. I traced the originating IP address of her emails to find she wasn’t in Arizona at all. She was in Mexico and there began the investigation into why she had really gone to Mexico, what she was doing and what her intentions were. Although she has never once admitted what she has done or explained why, we have determined the following:
 
She had been having a long-running affair with a co-worker who moved to Nogales, Mexico a border city and sister to Nogales, AZ. To be with him she quietly planned the abduction of our son. Over the course of weeks she asked me to go to the Mexican Embassy to apply for a birth certificate for Sage so he could have dual citizenship. She gathered up all the documentation she could find of our life such as the pictures and the legal documents and also took my passport, social security card, both copies of my birth certificate and the title to my car and flew to Tucson. The detailed story she’d told about the missing child was pure fiction used to abduct our own son.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2009, 02:35:59 PM by Teena »
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Offline tweinstein

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Re: Sage Bermudez Abduction Case
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2009, 07:35:03 AM »
Mexico is the country with largest number of abductions from the United States. In 2007 alone, there were 195 Hague cases representing 320 children. Below is information from the 2008 Hague Convention Compliance Report for Mexico.

Date Acceded to the Convention

6-20-1991

Date of Entry into Force with U.S.

10-1-1991

Pattern of Noncompliance
Law Enforcement Performance ;
Judicial Performance

Mexico demonstrated patterns of noncompliance. Many of the systemic problems mentioned in previous compliance reports persist. Locating children or taking parents in Mexico continues to be a serious impediment for Convention applicants, and often takes years.

Of the USCA’s 31 unresolved cases from Mexico, 23 remain unresolved because the taking parents and the children have not been located (see the “Unresolved Cases” section of this report for more information). This inability to locate abducted children taken to Mexico remains the single largest frustration that left-behind parents in the United States face. Inadequate resources are devoted to locating missing children,
severely undermining successful implementation of the Convention in Mexico. Cases can remain unresolved for years, as the taking parent and the child/ren are not located. Even in cases in which parents and children are located, taking parents often hide successfully when ordered to appear before a judge for a Convention hearing. Mexico must recognize the critical need to devote more resources to locating missing children and bringing abducting parents to justice in order to become compliant with the Convention.

The Department also continues to note patterns of noncompliance in Mexico’s judicial system. Abuses of the Amparo appeal system during this reporting period often led to excessive delays in Convention cases and further increased the legal costs incurred by the left-behind parent. In the few successful cases that led to the return of the child to the United States, the left-behind parent turned to a private attorney who better understood the principles of the Convention.

Offline SageDad

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Re: Sage Bermudez Abduction Case
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2009, 04:57:48 PM »
Yeah, I've read that report several times.  Mexico's numbers dwarf those of any other country.  They come close to accounting for the sum of all other countries combined.

In 2006 (the latest year on census.gov) the US gave almost $240 million in economic aid to Mexico.  The US also has a strong record of returning children abducted from Mexico.  One would think that would lead to us being able to have our own children returned to us.  Sadly that is not the case.

I can't account for the discrepency in the numbers between what a State Department official told me and those in the official report to Congress, but I was told six months ago that there are nearly 300 outgoing Hague cases filed with Mexico per year.  Of that number only 20% of them ever see a date in court due to the countries inability to even track down these missing children.  Of those 20% that actually have a court date I was told that there was "maybe one" case per year of a child being abducted to Mexico by the mother and returned to the father.  

My heart dropped to hear him basically tell me how poor my chances were of getting my son back from Mexico.  By the time he told me that though I was already in the 20% who had a court date that my wife had been legally served notice of.  Although that only occurred because we put forth a massive get out the word campaign in the area we suspected she was in and offered a $5000 reward for information to locate her.

In case the odds were not already against me, my wife is licensed to practice law in Mexico and finished all the courses for her masters degree in civil rights only failing to do her thesis which would have been in marriage law.

Regardless of the odds or costs I will keep going until every avenue and resource available to me has been exhausted.  Since the day my son was born I have been incapable of imagining a life without him in it.
“What you seek is seeking you.”
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Offline jdv28

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Re: Sage Bermudez Abduction Case
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2009, 06:09:42 AM »
Carlos...this may be a dumb question, but have you pressed charges on her?  She won't give you any contact?  I don't care how much LAW she has under her, she broke it.  Meaning if she had passed the bar, she'd get her license yanked.  Use the law against her. Sometimes I just want to become a pro in locating these children and passing it onto the parent.  Maybe I will.
Give MORE these:hug:  & LESS these :argue:

Offline SageDad

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Re: Sage Bermudez Abduction Case
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2009, 01:02:29 AM »
Not a dumb question at all.  In some cases criminal charges can complicate a Hague case and reduce it's chance of success by virtue of the courts reluctance to send a child back to a country where the abducting parent has a criminal arrest warrant.  My understanding of Brazil is that it is one such country.  My attorney in Mexico, who is a Hague specialist, has told me that criminal charges may actually help me get my son back from there.  Unfortunately because the actual crime occurred in the US it cannot be prosecuted in Mexico.  Even though parentally abducting or retaining a child is also a crime in Mexico the Mexican constitution holds that, with only a few limited exceptions, it is not a crime under Mexican law unless it occurs on Mexican soil.  It is, obviously, a crime under US law.   The International Parental Kidnapping Act (IPKA) was passed for specifically these cases, but charges are only brought under it once or twice per year. The FBI keeps telling me they are talking to the Attorney General about pressing international parental abduction charges against her and requesting her extradition, but nothing ever happens.  Guess parental kidnapping isn't high on their agenda (Michael Sutton of the Raleigh field office I AM talking to you).  Mexico does allow extradition of its nationals for international crimes for which it has a matching local penal code, which in theory would allow for her extradition.. if the FBI and the Attorney General would bother to ask for it. Far too often it seems that the FBI and the State Dept are more concerned with not ruffling diplomatic feathers than returning a few kids that have been parentally abducted.  It's sad to say but I have lost faith that the FBI intends to do anything with my case, something I hear from many other parents.  My son will likely come home (or not) based solely upon my efforts and those of the attorney I'm paying...

BTW.. i've begun studying for the LSAT myself to study law.  In theory I can put some of my engineering background to use there, but in practice my interests, not suprisingly, are in international law :)
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Offline SageDad

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Extradition can work
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2009, 11:10:13 AM »
From the NCMEC's section on "Success Stories":

Two Toddlers Returned From Mexico Thanks to Coordinated Efforts

On September 19, 2006, a concerned mother called NCMEC to report her two daughters, ages one and three, missing from Elkhart, Indiana. The caller indicated that the children had been abducted three days prior by their non-custodial father. She believed the abductor had fled to Mexico because he had family in Mexico City.

The case was transferred from local law enforcement in Elkhart to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in Indiana when it was confirmed by the U.S. Embassy in Mexico that the abductor and children were in that country. NCMEC’s International Missing Children’s Division worked with Mexican authorities and the FBI agent assigned to the case to take the appropriate actions for obtaining an arrest warrant and arranging extradition of the abductor from Mexico. Within three weeks, an arrest warrant was issued for the abductor.

On December 13, 2006, with the assistance of Mexican authorities, the abductor was lured and apprehended just outside of Mexico City. The abductor released information on the whereabouts of the children and they were picked up immediately. They have been reunited with their mother in Indiana. The abductor is awaiting extradition to the U.S. where he will face criminal charges.


I hope to not ignite a gender war, but sadly it seems to me that if the left behind parent is a father it's a Hague case and you can dump a fortune into it and roll the dice w/ Mexico's notoriously questionable legal system (more on that later), but if the mother is left behind it's a criminal case and the FBI files charges and requests extradition.
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Offline Bree

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Re: Sage Bermudez Abduction Case
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2009, 05:05:03 PM »
Have you contacted NCMEC to have Sage listed on their site?  That way he would be considered 'missing' due to parental abduction.  
 
Perhaps they will be able to assist you through their International Division.
 
Contact Us
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
Charles B. Wang International Children's Building
699 Prince Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314-3175
The United States of America

24-hour Hotline: 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678)
Fax: 703-274-2200

http://www.ncmec.org/missingkids/servlet/PageServlet?LanguageCountry=en_US&PageId=403
"Every parent who has a child and they tuck him in at night, or her in at night, and they wish the best and only the best and they will always protect the child and do whatever they can, but most of the time they don't have to prove it. I'm in the proving grounds, to myself and to my child.  I have to get him home and I will do whatever I have to. I'll never stop to save him."  --David Goldman

Offline Bree

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Re: Sage Bermudez Abduction Case
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2009, 05:06:30 PM »
Quote from: Bindlerkids;7875
Great Point..Carlos why can't you remove her rights to practice Law.....

Good question....if he files charges against her surely it would affect her right to practice law in Mexico.  
 
Carlos - have you had any contact with her recently?
"Every parent who has a child and they tuck him in at night, or her in at night, and they wish the best and only the best and they will always protect the child and do whatever they can, but most of the time they don't have to prove it. I'm in the proving grounds, to myself and to my child.  I have to get him home and I will do whatever I have to. I'll never stop to save him."  --David Goldman

Offline SageDad

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Re: Sage Bermudez Abduction Case
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2009, 06:29:46 PM »
In most professions in Mexico it is nearly impossible to take away someone's "cedula" or professional license.  In any case, my wife has never actually litigated and probably never will.  She lives off her parents and doesn't work.  She didn't even know how to wash dishes or do laundry when we moved in together.  

There's a big difference between being licensed to practice law in Mexico and actually doing so, due to the lack of sufficient practical education in many legal programs there.

I know how hard it is to remove someone's license because i've been investigaing doing so against the psychologists there who claimed that:

Based on the fact I have initiated international Hague proceedings involving courts and lawyers rather than work with my wife and her family directly I am "violent".

I have a "below average" IQ of 96... (even though they did no real IQ tests)

There is nothing illegal in my wife's conduct because I "admitted" to the psycologist that I agreed to her leaving the country.  (this contradicts direct testimony in court transcripts given by both my wife and I).

We requested an MMPI2 test of my wife which, plain as day, shows her as having the "False Good" profile of someone that is lying and pretending to be a good person, though the psycologists claim the test results indicate she gave sincere answers.

I went through 2 90 minute psycological evaluations with the 2 different "psychologists".  (In Mexico a bachelor's degree makes you a "clinical psycologist", in the US you'd be qualified to be a waiter... even school counselors require a masters degree here).   I audio recorded the first evaluation after which they took away my recorder for the second.  Once the second evaluation was over they forced me to erase the first evaluation.  I agreed to erasing it only because I knew I could recover the erased file afterward, which I did.  Stupid of them to think that I couldn't given that the evidence I have that my wife was having an affair was found by analyzing memory cards from my cameras for erased pictures (evidence they won't admit because it's "not relevant")

The psychologist I recorded claimed I have "strange sexual tastes" and/or "sexual dysfunction".  Though it is clear in the recording that nothing even tangentially related to sex, pleasure or tastes was ever brought up.  

Physiological exams have no place in Hague cases, much less the voodoo, witch doctor version of it that is practiced in Mexico, though they are perennially present in Mexican Hague proceedings.  My expectation is that with the numerous professional and ethical failures in the evaluations the courts will assign no evidential value to the evaluations, but that doesn't stop me from wanting to sue the psychologists pants off... but then, Mexican tort law is no where near as refined as the US and punitary damages are by and large not allowed making law suits almost non-existent there.

I emailed the Mexican equivalent of the APA asking what mechanisms they had to ensure that the people they licensed acted ethically and professionally.  It's been two months with no response.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2011, 10:22:48 AM by SageDad »
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Offline SageDad

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Re: Sage Bermudez Abduction Case
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2009, 06:35:35 PM »
Quote from: Bree;8124

Carlos - have you had any contact with her recently?


Once I tracked her down and initiated Hague proceedings she began to talk to me about coming to an agreement and even sent a few pictures to me.  Once I told her I would not sign a custody agreement that gave her full custody, 5,000 pesos every two weeks and renounce all civil and penal remedies I had available to me in exchange for supervised visitations in Mexico, she cut off contact with me again.
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Offline SageDad

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Re: Sage Bermudez Abduction Case
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2009, 06:37:35 PM »
I have some pictures and videos of my son and family on a page I made in November 2007, specifically for sharing photos with our friends and family, most of whom did not live near us in NC.

http://sagesbabypages.com
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Offline SageDad

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Re: Sage Bermudez Abduction Case
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2009, 06:25:51 PM »
Quote from: Bree;8123
Have you contacted NCMEC to have Sage listed on their site?  That way he would be considered 'missing' due to parental abduction.  
 
Perhaps they will be able to assist you through their International Division.
 
Contact Us
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
Charles B. Wang International Children's Building
699 Prince Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314-3175
The United States of America

24-hour Hotline: 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678)
Fax: 703-274-2200

http://www.ncmec.org/missingkids/servlet/PageServlet?LanguageCountry=en_US&PageId=403


I have had a case opened with the NCMEC opened almost since the begining.  The majority of Hague cases are not listed on the NCMEC's sites "Hague Case" section.  I'm not sure what criteria the NCMEC uses to determine if a child should be listed there.  The NCMEC has shown active interest in my son's abduction but seems to have very few resources available to help with cases in Mexico.  Strangely, they did not provide me with a list of Hague attorneys in Mexico but did give a list to a friend of mine who is trying to have her children returned from Mexico.  They also told her, but did not tell me, about a Travel Expense fund to help parents attend Hague hearings in foreign countries.  I imagine they determined she was in greater need than I, which makes sense if they have very limited funding, though i've spent around 20K so far and have a long road ahead of me and I would have liked to have had the option to take advantage of that fund as well.  I've been to Mexico for hearings twice now and will be back again in the begining of April.
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Offline tweinstein

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Re: Sage Bermudez Abduction Case
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2009, 06:48:43 PM »
I think, though I could be wrong, that most Hague Convention cases are not on NCMEC's website is because once the Office of Children's Issues took over as the Central Authority, they no longer handled the cases.

Offline SageDad

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Re: Sage Bermudez Abduction Case
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2009, 06:56:10 PM »
Quote from: tweinstein;8943
I think, though I could be wrong, that most Hague Convention cases are not on NCMEC's website is because once the Office of Children's Issues took over as the Central Authority, they no longer handled the cases.


The NCMEC was only the Central Authority for incoming Hague cases (ie children abducted TO the US).  The State Dept has always handled outgoing Hague cases, and recently took over incoming cases as well.
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Offline momoftwo

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Re: Sage Bermudez Abduction Case
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2009, 06:01:19 PM »
I just wanted to take a minute to post on this thread in support of my brother Carlos' case.  Sage Bermudez is my nephew, whom I have only had the privelege to meet once prior to his abduction by his mother.  I can verify all that my brother has stated to be true, and can also testify to the fact (not that my brother needs me to as he has plenty of objective evidence to back this up) that he has never been anything but a loving, supportive parent, both emotionally and financially.  What his wife has done to him, and to her own son by denying him the basic right to be around his father, is only testament to the utter selfishness of her actions, and in fact, of her very nature.  
 
Sadly, this case, as sounds to be the case for most left-behind parents, has played out far too slowly, and should my brother be rightfully reunited with his son even in the near future, he has lost almost a year of time with him that he can never get back, at an age when children accomplish many of their most precious milestones.  I hope that he, along with all of you here who are dealing with the same heartache, find justice soon.  Thank you to all of you who have demonstrated support on this thread.