HERE IS THEIR STORY:
Born and raised in New York, Christopher Camacho relocted to Atlanta, GA in 1997. He married Ana Lucrecia Ramirez Camacho on October 11th, 2000 in Marietta, Georgia. They had two children together, Isabella Nicole Camacho, born May 16th, 2001 and Elena Nicole Camacho, born on January 20, 2006. Everyone who knew the family knew Christopher as a loving father and devoted husband.
On June 4, 2011 Christopher dropped Lucrecia and his daughters off at the Atlanta- Hartsfield Airport for a planned three week summer vacation to her parents home in Heredia, Costa Rica. It was a trip the girls had taken before during summer break from school. At the time, Isabella was 10 years old and Elena was 5.
Little did Christopher know that his daughters would not return home nor would he see them again for almost a year.
Once in Costa Rica, the children's mother decided she would not be returning home to the United States with the children. All offers of counseling, reconciliation and compromise were refused.
In November of 2011, Christopher filed an International Child Abduction Complaint under the International Hague Convention and also filed for divorce in Cobb County, GA.
Both children are U.S. citizens, having been born and raised in Cobb County GA and only ever having lived at their home in Austell, GA.
In April of 2012 Christopher traveled to Costa Rica to plead his case before the Costa Rican family courts.
While in Costa Rica he was able to see his children for the first time in almost a year. Despite the fact that there had never been any incidence of abuse, neglect or misconduct, visitation was limited to 1 hour a day, from Monday to Thursday, at a government facility, supervised by a child psychologist.
On Friday April 27th, the courts mediated a joint custody arrangement between both parents. This agreement would have seen the children returned home to Atlanta with both parents sharing custody and the children being allowed to travel to see family in Costa Rica during summer vacations. The agreement would have been legally binding in both Costa Rica and the United States.
The judge, alerted to the limited 1 hour visitations that had occurred during the week prior to the hearing, ordered that the children be turned over to Christopher for the afternoon. That Friday ended on a high note, with Christopher getting to spend quality time with his children and a hope that the following Monday would see the mediated agreement legally finalized.
The following Monday, the mother and her lawyers reneged on the mediated agreement and decided instead to proceed with the Hague Abduction hearing. Over the course of 3 weeks the hearing was conducted via phone and satellite feed and concluded in May, 2012.
The Costa Rican Family Court susequently ruled in favor of Mr. Camacho and ordered the return of the children (Case # 11-000[phone redacted]-NA-7). That decision was appealed by the childrens mother.
The appelate Court upheld the ruling and also ordered the children returned (Case # 11-000[phone redacted]-NA-7 Numero 669-12-(2)).
The children's mother then took the case to the Costa Rican Constitutional Court. Without the knowledge or consent of Mr. Camacho, the children had been granted Costa Rican Citizenship in Spring of 2012. Because of this, the Constitutional Court ruled the mother could not be forced to return the children to the United States. They based their decision on an anti-extradition provision in the Costa Rican constitution, undoing all of the good work done by their own family court system.
All in all, the Family Court, Appellate Court and Constitutional Court processes took the better part of three years to be concluded.
On September 11, 2013, the State of Georgia granted full custody of the children to Mr. Camacho. (Camacho v Camacho, Civil Action No 11-1-1155-18).
On November 18, 2013, Mr. Camacho submitted his case to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, citing the country of Costa Rica as non-compliant in the Hague Convention (Camacho v Costa Rica, case #19422013). In the summer of 2014 that court agreed to hear the case. No date has yet been set.
In the fall of 2014, Mr. Camacho submitted another petition under the Hague Convention for contact and visitation with his children. That petition is currenlty active, The U.S. State Department and Costa Rican Child Welfare Services efforts to locate the children have been unsuccessful to date (as of 1/3/2015).
Despite repeated and ongoing efforts, Mr. Camacho has not seen his children since April of 2012 or spoken to them since November of 2013.
This funding project is to raise funds to pay outstanding and future legal costs associated with the children's abduction and to fund further location & reunification efforts.
Parental child abduction is a tragedy that has long-term consequences for both the child and the left-behind parent. When a child is abducted across international borders, the difficulties are compounded for everyone involved.
For left-behind parents, the trauma begins when they realize the other parent has left and taken the children, or when they allow the children to travel abroad with the other parent, only to find that they do not return. Left-behind parents encounter substantial psychological, emotional, and financial problems.
Between 2008 and 2010, more than 4,700 American children were abducted outside the U.S. by a parent or legal guardian. This problem is more common than most people realize.
Please help us continue fighting to bring the Camacho girls
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