Travel by minors delayed by glitch

Readers reported chaos Friday at the immigration offices where parents obtain permission to take a minor child out of the country.

The Internet link between the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores and the Dirección General de Migración was out of service. This is the system used to forward permissions signed by absent spouses, usually fathers, from other countries.

Friday was the last day that a parent here could obtain the permission because the immigration officers were closing for the holidays.

The law is designed to reduce parental abductions, and immigration clerks need to see permissions from both parents in order to stamp the passport of a minor Costa Rican.

One reader reported that tempers flared between a divorced couple because the father declined to sign a permission slip for the couple’s daughter. The wife punched out the father and was led away in handcuffs, the reader said.

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