National Press Club

National Press Club plans to review battle to return child from Brazil

November 13, 2015 | By Tony Gallo |

Chris Brann, the father of five-year-old Nico Brann, of Houston, Texas, plans to tell of his ongoing struggle to bring his abducted son home from Brazil publicly for the first time at a National Press Club Newsmakers event on Tuesday, Nov. 17 at 10 a.m. in the NPC's Murrow Room.

Like all Newsmaker events, this press conference is open to credentialed press and NPC Club members, free of charge. No advance registration is required.

Brann plans to review the case with the media joined by his international lawyer Jared Genser, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Michele Thoren Bond and Rep. Chris Smith, R-New Jersey, author of the Sean and David Goldman International Child Abduction Prevention Act, which seeks to assist the parents of children taken abroad. David Goldman, whose son’s abduction to Brazil attracted global publicity, also plans to appear.

The U.S. Department of State reports there are 763 left-behind American parents of children who have been abducted to 66 countries around the world.

On July 1, 2013, Brann's now ex-wife Marcelle traveled from Houston to Salvador, Brazil, for her brother’s wedding. Having joint custody of Nico, she had promised a Texas family court that she would return. Unbeknownst to Brann, she had been planning to abduct Nico and immediately filed for sole custody of her son in Brazil.

Both the government of Brazil and the government of the United States agree that Nico was illegally taken from the United States.

Ten independent experts have concluded that Brann is an excellent father, including the court-appointed psychologist in Brazil and Brazil Federal Judge Arali Maciel Duarte. Yet, even with Brazil Attorney General’s Office appearing on Brann's side in court, Judge Duarte refused to return Nico, citing to an outdated ruling in the Goldman case as the sole precedent for denying the return.

Brann now faces years of further appeals unless a political solution can be found between Brazil and the United States.