The children, a boy and a girl, were 10 1/2 and 3 1/3 at the date of the alleged wrongful removal. They had lived in El Salvador all of their lives. The parents were separated. The mother had custody and the father visiting rights.
On 7 April 1989 the father took the children to the United States where they joined the father’s girlfriend and their 4 1/4 year-old daughter. On 21 April 1989 the father took the children to Canada.
In August 1989 the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Board granted the father, his girlfriend and the children, refugee status.
On 18 September 1989 an El Salvadorian court granted the mother custody of her two children. On 22 June 1990 the Ontario Provincial Court granted, inter alia, ex parte interim custody to the mother.
The mother then applied for the recognition of the El Salvadorian order and the return of her children to their State of habitual residence.