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|International Kidnapping Inspires|
|News Releases - General Info|
|Written by Ginny Grimsley|
|Monday, 02 July 2012 12:47|
Estranged Spouses Must Put Children First, Father Says; Offers Tips
In his wedding pictures taken during the 1980s, Steve Fenton is on top of the world. He’s a handsome American newlywed with a sly smirk on his face, about to drink a toast with his beauty queen wife in a traditional wedding in Xalapa, Mexico.
Eight years later, the rising tension begins in this real-life, Hollywood-styled drama, detailed in his new book, Broken Treaty (www.BrokenTreaty.info). He became estranged from his wife Silvia, but allowed her to take their son, Stephen, 6, on a two-week trip to her native Mexico in December 1992. More than four, frantic weeks later, he found out Silvia had enrolled their son in a school there, quit her job in California and had no plans of coming back.
“I know a lot of mothers down here who have done this same thing with no problems,” she told him over the phone.
Fenton also spoke with his son during that call, and could tell the boy was close to tears.
“He wanted to come back home to his friends, his school and a model submarine project we were working on,” he says. “Silvia hung up the phone shortly thereafter.”
He pursued the Hague Convention Treaty, an international accord signed by Mexico the previous year, to return his son. A year later, although adamantly assured by both Mexico and the U.S. State Department that his son would be returned to his birth country, Fenton saw that his only hope would be to leave diplomats to their own devices. He began quietly engineering a complex plan to bring his son home to California.
Fenton grew his hair and a beard and donned sunglasses and a hat to disguise his appearance. He hired a pilot and others to help in the extraction of his son from southeastern Mexico. After spending tens of thousands of dollars and risking his life with no guarantee of success, he landed back on U.S. soil – with Stephen.
But while the action movie portion of the story ends here, another saga – single-parenthood – would begin. He offers tips that, despite his unique circumstances, apply to all divorced parents.
About Steve Fenton
Steve Fenton is a specialty building contractor. After his estranged wife spirited their son, an American, away to Xalapa, Mexico, the father decided he had to take action. With little to no help from the U.S. and Mexican governments after a year and a half, the determined father went on a clandestine recovery mission across the border. What ensued were life-changing events that have defined the lives of father and son. His book was written with some technical assistance from Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, the pilot who would later become a national hero after safely landing U.S. Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River.
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