Taking Sean from his Family and Little Sister on Christmas Eve Is Inhumane

Silvana Bianchi Dear President Lula, my name is Silvana Bianchi, I am Brazilian, I'm 60 years old and worked all my life. Along with my husband Raimundo Carneiro Ribeiro I raised my two children teaching them to, above all, love this country.

My daughter, Bruna, died tragically at my granddaughter Chiara's birth. Today I have as main goal of my life to give all attention and affection to my grandchildren, Bruna's children. One of those grandchildren, Sean, also a Brazilian national, became the target of an international campaign that reached unbelievable levels. U.S. officials make public statements calling "kidnapper" a grandmother, who in the absence of her daughter, just wishes to raise their grandchildren.

Our formation values the role of the mother. In the absence of the mother, the upbringing falls to the grandmother. So it is all over Brazil, from north to south, regardless of race, color, religion or social class. It is natural that foreigners with different backgrounds, do not understand these feelings so authentically Brazilian.

I'm worried about losing my grandson Sean due to an international pressure that does not take into consideration the interests of a 9-year-old child who longs to remain among those who gave him comfort at the time of his mother's death.

The Judicial decisions that have been taken by determining the handing out of Sean in 48 hours to the American Consulate did not take into account the wishes of my grandson to stay in Brazil. They argued that the Hague Convention requires immediate delivery. I am not a lawyer, but what I know is that the Convention establishes as maximum priority the child's interest. And the child was not heard.

Mr President, this is not an outburst of a grandmother in agony. It is the cry of a Brazilian fighting with all her forces, the ones she still has, so that the Justice of this country apply the laws with the essential dose of humanity.

Trying to take a 9-year-old child from his daily life with the family he has continuously lived with for 5 years, and especially from his sister, 1.3-year-old Chiara, which finds great comfort in Sean, just on Christmas Eve, represents an inhumanity. Jesus came to earth to save humankind. May God protect those who believe in the supreme principle of Christianity, the preservation of the family.

I respectfully ask Your Excellency that we are granted the opportunity to present, in a hearing, our family and to personally deliver the written statements by Sean addressed to Your Excellency.

Wishing Your Excellency, your wife and your whole family a happy Christmas reunion, I await your response.

With respect

Silvana Bianchi

The above is, in its entirety, the open letter sent on Tuesday, December 22, to President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva by Silvana Bianchi, the Brazilian grandmother of Sean Goldman, whose custody is being disputed in the Brazilian courts.

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