October 2, 2008 Updates

We got a bit twisted around here with “Blog Ops” with the result that a new post ended up as a comment. Nevertheless here’s some more recent information:

US Senator Frank Lautenberg and Congressman Rush Holt spoke with US Ambassador to Brazil, Clifford Sobel recently, however we do not know the context or result of the discussions other than to say some progress has been made. We are hopeful that David’s elected officials take more of an interest in this case so please keep the pressure on them.

We have been shocked at the lack of Brazilian media coverage of this story due to the apparent influence of the Lins e Silva family. This family’s ties in political, media, and judicial circles must run much deeper than any of us ever imagined. The Globo Network and the Brazilian AP desk said they would not touch the story. The Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper ran the story but changed the names of the parties involved. The Record Network was set to air a segment on David’s story on its popular “Domingo Espectacular” program but pulled the segment at the last minute after the Lins e Silva’s obtained a court injuction on a Saturday to block the story from airing.

Several major US television networks have expressed interest in covering David & Sean’s story. We will provide more specific information as it becomes available.

A story was published on 9/26 by the newspaper Braziliniense which “named names.” We were specifically told NOT to translate it into English but you can find it here and translate it yourself through an online translation program: http://bringseanhome.org/correio.html

This is a Copy/Paste of an important comment by KK in the Welcome and Thank You post.

Meredith V, (Vieira) is looking for feedback to her interview with David on MSNBC; here is the link:
http://meredithtoday.ivillage.com/entertainment/archives/2008/09/running.html

I’ve heard some rumours that some news organizations in Brazil have been precluded from airing David’s story by the Lins e Silva family. I don’t have enough information on that to lodge a complaint, but if someone does have details on that here is a good group to go to, the Inter-American Press Association, a non-profit group that spans the America’s and is dedicated to Freedom of Speech. Here is the link:
http://www.sipiapa.com/v4/index.php?page=sip_que&idioma=us

Daddy Lins e Silva (Paulo, Joao Paulo’s father) is scheduled to attend and speak at the International Bar Association Conference in Buenos Aires next week on gues what: Children’s rights…
http://www.ibanet.org/conferences/BA2008/prog_detail.cfm?uid=3b495082-b6b4-465a-8393-61246c3a8ca4

He is representing the International Union of Attorneys of which he is the immediate past president. You can follow links and see that some of his colleagues will be presenting material on relocation jurisdiction of child abductions that fall under the Hauge Convention
see:
http://www.ibanet.org/conferences/BA2008/prog_detail.cfm?uid=cc4c4743-e5c4-4937-ba6d-3b1599671122

You can follow links and find lists of attendees, other members of the Family Law Committee, etc.

We want to clarify a point here which really needs to be driven home to anyone you contact. David Goldman has never been permitted to see Sean, not once in over four years! To us that is simply mind boggling and beyond cruel.

This is not hearsay and also mind boggling: To date, US Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) has been non-responsive to requests for help. The Senator is a member of the Subcommittee on International Operations and Organizations, Democracy and Human Rights, and claims to be an advocate for children’s rights, now how is that for irony?!

We’ve added additional contact information to both the English and Portuguese “How to Help” pages as well as a boilerplate form letter you can mail to our elected officials. Not just the ones on the page, if that letter is sent to all 100 US Senators we’re bound to get more action by the US government.

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15 Responses to “October 2, 2008 Updates”

  1. LukieD says:

    We finally found the names of some individuals at the US State Dept who should be contacted.

    http://www.hcch.net/index_en.php?act=authorities.details&aid=133

    This is the Hague Conference website that lists the individuals in each country responsible for international child abduction cases. As you can see, there are two people listed at our State Dept. I’d be very curious to know if they’re even aware of David’s case. If any of you have the time to call them and ask them what, if anything, our State Dept is doing to help David, that would be a big help. Please post any comments after you call and we will probably end up adding these names to the “How to Help” page depending on what they have to say about the case. Indidentally, David has had ZERO contact with anyone at our State Dept about his case, at least since the most recent turn of events.

    U.S. Department of State – Office of Children’s Issues

    The Office of Children’s Issues is the primary contact for cases of children abducted both to and from the United States. Additionally, this office has overall policy co-ordination responsibility for the Hague Convention program for the United States.

    Office of Children’s Issues (CA/OCS/CI)
    U.S. Department of State, SA-29
    2100 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 4th Floor
    WASHINGTON, DC 20037
    United States of America
    numéro de téléphone/telephone number: +1 (202) 736 9130
    numéro de télécopie/telefax number: +1(202) 736-9132
    website: http://www.travel.state.gov/family/abduction/abduction_580.html

    personnes à contacter / persons to contact:

    Ms Martha PACHECO
    Office of Children’s Issues
    United States Central Authority
    tel.: +1 (202) 736 9131

    Ms Kathleen RUCKMAN
    Deputy Director
    tel.: +1 (202) 736 9123

  2. Mom25 says:

    Not sure what happened here with my latest post – I think we were working on the Sept and October threads at the same time :)

    Anyway… as didn’t notice this new thread earlier today… I posted recent contact info on Amorim and Viotti, Brazilian press/tv network and more on September thread… please check the “Welcome and Thank You” thread for the above information.

    Good luck and hope to hear greater news sooner than later!!

  3. LukieD says:

    The following comment was posted by Julia B in the “Discuss Story” section after the Today Show article that ran on MSNBC’s website.

    In 2001, Brazil followed a very high-profile custody case between an famous actress and a journalist (Pedro Bial and Giulia Gam). Pedro Bial authorized Giulia Gam to take their 3-year-old son at that time, on a trip to NY. At the end of their stay, Giulia Gam simply called Pedro Bial (they had already separated) and announced that she was staying in the States for good. Bial, of course, did not agree with that. So, he went to court and got an order to come to the US and get the boy. And you know what? He did! Not only did he get the boy, but Giulia Gam lost custody of their son. She had to return to Brazil and fight. She slowly regained visitation rights; at first supervised visitation and a couple of years later, the court decided upon joint custody again. She never traveled abroad with the boy again. But the irony of it all is that the lawyer that represented Bial, was Paulo Lins e Silva, Bruna’s widower’s father. So, Bial’s rights as a father and the law prevailed in this case. How come David Goldman is being deprived of the same rights?

  4. JamesJosephs says:

    Lukie.

    If you translate the recent article in the portugese section of the site into English— I used Bablefish– it looks like the Office of Children’s Issues is involved.

    http://www.bringseanhome.org/correio.html

    http://babelfish.yahoo.com/

    Fom my position, the political gunpowder of David’s Brazilian counsel is as important as anything. I assume he is using competent counsel. I hope he is using counsel that is politically connected.

    Sherman & Sterling is a BIG New York law firm with a major presence in Brazil.

    http://pview.findlaw.com/view/3631986_1

    Here is a list of the top 10 Brazilian law firms.

    http://www.martindale.com/top-10-law-firm-lists/firm-visibility-country-brazil.htm

  5. swash1 says:

    Sent email two weeks ago to those on the list. Somehow my email got forwarded, and I received this reply from the office of the Special Secretariat for Human Rights of the Presidency of the Republic of Brazil.

    BRAZILIAN SECRETARIAT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS INTERVENES TO RETURN AMERICAN CHILD TO BIOLOGICAL FATHER

    The Special Secretariat for Human Rights of the Presidency of the Republic of Brazil, the Brazilian Central Authority for the Hague Convention of 1980, sent to the Office of the Attorney General a request for the restitution to the United States of an eight year old American child. The request was presented by the Government of the United States of America. After analysing the case, the Office of the Attorney General filed a petition today before a Federal Court in Rio de Janeiro.

    In the Secretariat´s understanding, this legal action will honor the obligations established by the Hague Convention for the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, of which Brazil is a Contracting State. The main objective of the Convention is to return to the country of original residence any children who are wrongfully retained in another Contracting State. In accordance with the Convention, a child may only remain in another country under due authorization of the parents who exercise legal custody.

    The child, son of an American citizen and Brazilian mother, was taken by the mother to Brazil in 2004 to visit the maternal family. Once in Brazil, the mother decided to remain in the country with the child without the father´s consent and filed for divorce. As a result, proceedings for the return of the child to the United States were initiated before the Brazilian Justice. The mother later remarried to a Brazilian citizen but due to complications during delivery of a second child has passed away. The child´s step father was recently granted temporary custody of the child by a Family court of Rio de Janeiro.

    From the point of view of the Secretariat for Human Rights, as the biological father exercises the legal custody of the child in the United States, the establishment of temporary custody rights in Brazil on behalf of the step father violates the Hague Convention. For this reason, the Secretariat sent a formal message to the National Council of Justice to manifest its concern with the conduction of the case by the local Family court.

  6. swash1 says:

    I know the above does not mean that Sean is home, but hopefully its a step in that direction.

  7. JamesJosephs says:

    To Mom25.

    Anne Marie Hutchinson is the name of the British attorney that will be chairing the International Bar Association Conference Session in Argentina that will have Mr. Lins e Silva, Sr. on the panel. Ironically, the session is called “Children’s Rights and Protection.”

    http://www.ibanet.org/conferences/BA2008/prog_detail.cfm?uid=3b495082-b6b4-465a-8393-61246c3a8ca4

    Her e-mail address is as follows. Certainly someone should notify her and give her a link to this site. I think some sort of presence outside the hotel in Argentina, while difficult to organize, would be useful in keeping up the pressure–if anyone has any personal/media contacts in Buenos Aries.

    Anne Marie Hutchenson’s email isbelow. She should be contacted and given a link to the site. Specifically the NJ court order that was ignored.

    amh@dawsoncornwell.com

  8. demander72 says:

    I received this email today from Brazil after sending letters to the contacts provided…

    It looks promising, but sounds like there is still more to be done.

    Brazilian Secretariat for Human Rights Intervenes to Return American Child to Biological Father

    The Special Secretariat for Human Rights of the Presidency of the Republic of Brazil, the Brazilian Central Authority for the Hague Convention of 1980,  sent to the Office of the Attorney General a request for the restitution to the United States of an eight year old American child. The request was presented by the Government of the United States of America. After analysing the case, the Office of the Attorney General filed a petition today before a Federal Court in Rio de Janeiro.
    In the Secretariat´s understanding, this legal action will honor the obligations established by the Hague Convention for the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, of which Brazil is a Contracting State.  The main objective of the Convention is to return to the country of original residence any children who are wrongfully retained in another Contracting State. In accordance with the Convention, a child may only remain in another country under due authorization of the parents who exercise legal custody.
    The child, son of an American citizen and Brazilian mother, was taken by the mother to Brazil in 2004 to visit the maternal family. Once in Brazil, the mother decided to remain in the country with the child without the father´s consent and filed for divorce. As a result, proceedings for the return of the child to the United States were initiated  before the Brazilian Justice. The mother later remarried to a Brazilian citizen but due to complications during delivery of a second child has passed away. The child´s step father was recently granted temporary custody of the child by a Family court of Rio de Janeiro.
    From the point of view of the Secretariat for Human Rights, as the biological father exercises the legal custody of the child in the United States, the establishment of temporary custody rights in Brazil on behalf of the step father violates  the Hague Convention. For this reason, the Secretariat sent a formal message to the National Council of Justice to manifest its concern with the conduction of the case by the local Family court.

  9. JamesJosephs says:

    Martha Pacheco from the Office of Children’s Issues at the State Department will be a speaker at the International Bar Association conference that Mr. Lins-e-Silva, Sr. is attending. Her number at State is 202-736-9131. She will be back in the office tomorrow at 7:00 a.m.

    David and his attorneys should absolutely make sure they get in touch with her tomorrow.

  10. Mom25 says:

    To James Joseph,
    Sorry, I didn’t get it – I am not in / from Argentina and don’t know anyone from there… the efforts of writing emails/placing calls must continue though.

  11. Mom25 says:

    To swash1,
    I AGREE… but, evidently, this is battle that will take a huge lion.

  12. Sonyamarshall says:

    this is what is got from them…

    RE: David & Sean Goldman‏
    From: Abduction USCA (AbductionUSCA@state.gov)

    Sent: Thu 10/02/08 3:38 PM
    To: sonyamarshall@hotmail.com

    Mrs. Marshall,
    Thank you for your correspondence regarding David Goldman’s efforts to have his son, Sean, returned from Brazil. The Department of State’s Office of Children’s Issues and our Embassy in Brasilia are doing everything we can diplomatically to help Mr. Goldman reunite with his son. We are working closely with the Brazilian Central Authority to pursue Sean’s return under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. Consular staff in Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro is monitoring Mr. Goldman’s case in the Brazilian federal courts as well.

    Our heartfelt compassion goes out to Mr. Goldman. International child abduction is a tragedy that no parent should have to endure. The Department of State places the highest priority on the welfare of children who have been victimized by international parental child abduction. The Office of Children’s Issue works diligently every day on behalf of children who have been wrongfully removed or retained in foreign countries around the world.

    We remain committed to assisting Mr. Goldman until his case is resolved in Brazil. We appreciate your concern and support and will make sure your message is conveyed to Mr. Goldman and to our colleagues and counterparts in Brazil.

    The Office of Children’s Issues

    Office of Overseas Citizens Services

    Bureau of Consular Affairs

    U.S. Department of State

    From: Ask CI
    Sent: Tuesday, September 30, 2008 11:15 AM
    To: Abduction USCA
    Subject: FW: David & Sean Goldman

    From: Sonya Marshall [mailto:sonyamarshall@hotmail.com]
    Sent: Saturday, September 27, 2008 9:17 AM
    To: Ask CI
    Subject: David & Sean Goldman

    Good Morning,

    I recently stumbled across one of the saddest most inhumane stories of child abduction I have ever read. I am talking about the story of David and Sean Goldman. I am sure that this is not the first email that you have received on this case, but just in case it is I am going to add his web site and story of what happened to him. I think that Sean needs to be reunited with his father immediately, if not sooner. This man, David, was torn from his son by a woman who was evil and she brought him to Brazil. Bruna Goldman is the woman and she happens to be the child’s mother and David’s wife. She took their son after using the ploy she was going to Brazil to visit family. She stayed there. Since then she had remarried and passed away while delivering the child of her new husband, but the son is still in custody of the second husband in Brazil. How can this be? How can our government not work this out for this family? How can this not have already been remedied. Why has this man not been allowed access to his son. Why is the U.S Government not doing anything about Brazil breaking all kinds of international kidnapping laws.

    I am in the process of sending his story to the local and national media. He has appeared on Good Morning America last week. This man needs our help. How can we let a government keep a child of US Citizenship?? How is any of this correct???

    Thank you for your time,

    Sonya Marshall

    http://bringseanhome.org/index.html

    David’s Story

    The following letter was sent on September 20, 2008 from David Goldman to his local elected officials and to the media. David has now returned to the United States – without Sean.

    I married Bruna Bianchi Caneiro Ribeiro in Eatontown, New Jersey, USA, on December 17, 1999. We had a son, Sean Goldman, born in Red Bank, NJ on May 25, 2000. On June 16, 2004, I drove Bruna, Sean and Bruna’s parents to Newark Airport for a planned 2-week vacation to her parent’s home in Brazil. Bruna arrived in Brazil and called me that day to tell me our marriage was over, she and Sean were not returning to the US, and if I ever wanted contact with my son again, I would have to sign custody over to her. I have never signed any papers granting Bruna custody of our son, Sean.

    Prior to Bruna’s decision to permanently remove Sean from our home and my life (with the aid of her parents), without my consent, the three of us were living as a family in Tinton Falls, NJ USA. Prior to Sean’s abduction, I was under the impression that our home-life was happy and typical of any American family’s. Even since the date of Sean’s abduction, Bruna made no allegations to the contrary, and this is documented in the court records in Brazil and the United States.

    I have been fighting in the Brazilian courts under The Hague Treaty for 4+ years. All counts of the law under The Hague Treaty as well as Brazilian, US and international law are clear and documented in court records in Brazil and the US that Sean was and still is being retained illegally and should be returned to the US. The Brazilian courts have ignored these orders as well as The Hague law and have continually ruled that Sean belonged with his mother and the mother is the most important bond. They have ruled as if it were a simple custody case, where the mother always gets the child. During the past 4+ years, I have made many trips to Brazil in the hope of being reunited with my son. I have been present for all rulings rendered by Brazilian courts, yet have never been permitted to see Sean. At the Superior Court level in Brazil, Bruna was awarded custody by a panel of five judges. Three judges ruled in favor of Bruna, while two voted in favor of me.

    Although Bruna and I were still legally married in the United States, Bruna obtained a divorce in the eyes of Brazil (without my presence or knowledge). It is my understanding that Bruna became pregnant and remarried in Brazil within the past year. Bruna married a Joao Paulo Lins e Silva, an attorney in Brazil. He works for his father’s law firm, and they are a very prominent Brazilian family from what we can tell from internet searches and other sources. The irony of it all is that both Joao Paulo and his father concentrate on “Family Law,” particularly international Family Law. His father, Paulo Lins e Silva, has even spoken at The Hague regarding child abduction.

    On August 22, 2008, Bruna tragically passed away during childbirth. I was not informed of her death by her parents or by her new Brazilian husband. I found out only through the research of friends in the U.S. Since I am his biological father, and the only other person with a reasonable claim to custody, I assumed that I would be reunited with Sean and return him to our home in the U.S. I immediately contacted my Brazilian counsel Ricardo Zamariola Jr. I also contacted my lawyer in the States, Patricia Apy, Esq. of Red Bank, Monmouth County NJ. Both attorneys advised me to travel to Brazil as soon as possible. I traveled to Sao Paulo on Delta flight 121, which arrived in Sao Paulo at approximately 9:40 am 7 September 2008. I traveled to Brazil with my mother Eleanor Goldman and our family friend, Anthony Rizzuto. Since learning of Bruna’s passing, all attempts to directly contact Sean or Bruna’s family in Brazil have failed. Through my attorney in Brazil, I attempted to set up visitation with Sean. Via response by their Brazilian counsel, Bruna’s Brazilian husband and parents have denied any contact between Sean and me or his paternal grandmother.

    I have been told by both attorneys that I “should” be able to see and regain custody of Sean. However, nothing in this case has ever gone as it “should” under Brazilian and/or international law. Worse still, recent events in Brazil have given us greater cause for concern and have reinforced our beliefs that the …. Brazilian legal system could prevent justice from ever being served. Soon after our arrival in Sao Paulo, we learned that Bruna’s Brazilian husband did not file for custody of Sean. Instead, he filed to replace me (his biological father) on a birth certificate issued for Sean in Brazil. My lawyer has stated this is clearly an invalid application of Brazilian law. However, the only assurance he could provide regarding the potential outcome of this action was that it “should” not be successful.

    I am engaged in a battle to regain custody of my son, who needs me more now than ever. Unfortunately, I am fighting against people with substantial influence at high levels in the Brazilian judiciary system, government and media. It is imperative for my success that I have high level support within the government and media of my own country. I need this now more then ever. I find it impossible to believe that the United States will passively allow the child of a U.S. citizen to be abducted and naturalized to another country.

    So now after four years of trying desperately to be with my son, I find myself sitting in a hotel room in Sao Paulo since September 7th, hoping and praying to be reunited with my son, ready to bring him home and resume our life as father and son. We have much healing to do. I have never lost hope the day would come for us to be together again. I will never give up, but I need help.

    David Goldman

  13. LukieD says:

    As a follow up to KK’s original post, if someone has time, we should make three calls to various members of the Inter-American Press Association to let them know that the story of Sean Goldman is being suppressed by the Brazilian media. You should tell them specifically that the Globo Network and the Brazilian AP desk have refused to cover the story because of apparent ties to the Lins e Silva family. Let’s start with the IAPA headquarters in Miami and then the two regional contacts listed below.

    1) Inter American Press Association
    Ricardo Trotti, Press Freedom Director and Director of the Press Institute
    Jules Dubois Building
    1801 S.W. 3rd Avenue
    Miami, Florida 33129
    Tel: (305) 634-2465
    Fax: (305) 635-2272
    Email: rtrotti@sipiapa.org, cc: mjimenez@sipiapa.org, info@sipiapa.org
    Post comments on their site here: http://www.sipiapa.com/v4/index.php?page=sip_contacto&idioma=us

    2) Mr, André Jungblut, Vice-Chairman for the Inter-American Press Association based in Brazil. The group has its headquarters in Miami, FL but has regional reps all over the Americas.

    Gazeta do Sul
    Mr. André Jungblut, President
    Gazeta do Sul S/A.
    Rua Ramiro Barcelos – 1206 – CEP: 96810-900
    - SANTA CRUZ DO SUL/RS Brasil
    Tel: +55 51 3715-7800
    Email: gazeta@gazetadosul.com.br, central@centralcomunicacao.com.br

    3) Mr. Francisco Montes, Regional Vice-Chairman for the Inter-American Press Association based in Argentina.

    He might be able to alert the local Argentine press as to this conference next week and the presence of Mr. Paulo Lins e Silva in Buenos Aires on Oct 13. Mr. Montes works for a newspaper called the Dairio de Cuyo based in San Juan, Argentina. I can’t find a direct email but here are a few emails from his staff. If someone speaks fluent Spanish and has time to call that would be ideal (phone # below).

    direcciondc@diariodecuyo.com.ar, jefaturaredaccion@diariodecuyo.com.ar, publicidad@diariodecuyo.com.ar, menudc@diariodecuyo.com.ar

    Tel +54 264 4290049

  14. freakgirl says:

    i am a little bit upset about all these things happening here, so all i figure to say the obvious,
    either the child’s *step father* in question is sleeping with all female Judges in brazilian court, or have tons of dirty laundry on male judges
    otherwise things just seem extremely fishy for him, he just keeps winning in court. cmon when did DNA testing stopped working?
    I would just overwhelm the *step father* with bad comment emails… In portuguese even….. sorry folks the step father just rather greedy…. non ethical for his line of work i would say…

  15. child custody jurisdiction…

    Good post. I am looking into these issues on my blog….




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