02 Jun 2011

The Author

Author of the award-winning book Finding Fernanda. Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism. Redux Pictures photographer. Read more here.


Guatemala Update from the US Department of State









The US Department of State sent out an email notice today on Guatemalan adoptions. It mentioned an April 14, 2011 meeting that happened in Washington, DC pertaining to transition adoption cases. Staff from the Office of Children’s Issues met with Elizabeth de Larios, president of Guatemala’s Consejo Nacional de Adopciones (CNA), and  two staff from the Guatemalan Embassy, Marilys Barrientos de Estrada and Fernando de la Cerda. U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) Deputy Director of International Operations Division, Wally Bird, attended, as did Ambassador Susan Jacobs. The Guatemalans again told the Americans that all transition cases would be processed according to Guatemalan law. “In addition,” the bulletin stated, “the CNA also informed us that many of the cases it has reviewed do not meet other procedural and substantive requirements of the new December 2007 law.”

It went on to say that the Office of Children’s Issues at the State Department had crafted a letter that as hand-delivered to the CNA on May 5, 2011. It was meant as an assurance that the Guatemalan children involved in transition adoption cases would be able to successfully immigrate to the USA. I wonder what, exactly, the letter says?

According to USCIS, a total of 378 transition cases remain in limbo. A total of 16 Guatemalan adoptions have been completed thus far in 2011. Of these, the US government says, “339 were pre-approved and pending action by the Government of Guatemala; awaiting final adoption documents, 21 were pending U.S. petitioner action (i.e. DNA, RFE response, etc.), 2 cases were pending USCIS processing, 2 cases pending other U.S. Government action, and 2 cases were pending Consular Section visa interview.”

Nothing was said about how many cases were being investigated for criminality by Guatemala’s Ministerio Público.

The bulletin also mentions Senator Mary Landrieu and Ambassador Susan Jacob’s April trip “with a delegation” to Guatemala. They don’t say who else was in this delegation, but I’ll be blogging about this soon. Susana Luarca’s arrest is noted at the end of the bulletin.

You can read the full notice online here at the Department of State’s website.

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