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When couples split up, complex legal issues can arise and when children are involved, there can be complicated custody battles.
So what happens if a parent wins custody in court, but their ex-spouse flees overseas with the child? Some call on Gus Zamora. Gus is a former US Army ranger, who specialises in 'snatchback' - or returning a child to his or her custodial parent. Photos below.
It's murky territory - legally and ethically - so Gus has some ground rules. His client must have sole legal custody of the child or proof that they've exhausted all the options set out by the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction. Also, the parent has to be present when Gus makes the snatchback.
In each potential case Gus has to exercise judgement and instinct. Experience has taught him not to meet prospective clients in hotels or accept bundles of cash as payment. He prefers to meet them in a home environment and to perform background checks.
Because, he reasons, in every case he accepts, the child is the client - not the parent - and he has to consider their welfare and benefit over anything else.
As children in these cases may have already been uprooted from their home and forced to live in an unfamiliar country, Gus tries to ensure that the snatchback does not traumatise the child even further. He tries to bring along familiar family members or photos and in some cases gets the local police involved.
It's a job that has a huge emotional burden, working with stressed parents and operating secretly at great personal risk. So what keeps Gus going?
He says that since he started performing snatchbacks, he's returned 55 children to their homes in the United States. And he follows each case on a personal level.
On his office wall, Gus has letters from a little girl who was his first ever recovery. He gets Christmas and birthday cards from her every year and you can hear the pride in his voice when he talks about a letter from her saying she's been accepted to university.
Gus makes his living from operating in a legally grey area, which is something he seems to regret having to do. As the quote on his website says, "I wish the system worked, but the fact that it doesn’t work means I’ll always be working. It’s kind of a shame."
More on Gus Zamora from The Atlantic - The Snatchback.