US refuses to repatriate snatched girl: Guatemala


GUATEMALA CITY — A Guatemalan official says the U.S. government has said it won’t return a girl adopted after being snatched from her Guatemalan mother in 2006, because the two countries had not signed the Hague Abduction Convention at the time.

Guatemala’s Foreign Relations Ministry quotes the U.S. State Department as saying the two countries formally ratified the convention on Jan. 1, 2008, more than a year after toddler Anyeli Hernandez Rodriguez was snatched in November 2006.

Ministry spokeswoman Celeste Alvarado said Monday the United States sent a diplomatic note saying it wasn’t required to return the child if there was no treaty in force at the time.

The girl was adopted by a Missouri couple. Last year, a Guatemalan judge ordered that the girl be returned.