Ex-con says daughter will be safe with him in Mexico

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by Kyle Iboshi, KGW Staff

KREM.com

Posted on February 28, 2014 at 9:04 PM

PORTLAND -- The father of a 6-year-old girl headed to Mexico told KGW Friday he's anxious to be reunited with his daughter.

"I'm ready to do whatever I need to in order to get my daughter back and there won't be anyone who can stop me from getting what I want," said Alfonso Pantoja-Samano, who was reached by phone.

He doesn't know when she will arrive in Mexico.

The girl has been the focus of an international custody dispute. She's currently in foster care because of her mother's on-going drug addiction. The state of Oregon plans to send her to Mexico to be reunited with her biological father.

Pantoja-Samano, 35, is a convicted felon who served time in Oregon for assault before being deported.

“Nobody knows me. I don’t know why they’re talking about me. They don’t know anything about my life," he said.

Pantoja-Samano said he's working two jobs, one in a factory the other in construction. He lives with his parents and siblings in his hometown 200-miles north of Mexico City.

The Oregon Department of Human Services is taking a second look at the situation. Ore. Gov. John Kitzhaber and three state legislators asked child welfare workers to review the case.

Pantoja-Samano said his daughter speaks Spanish. He's maintained contact with the 6-year old. He spoke with her within the past week.

During the interview, Pantoja-Samano would not discuss previous allegations of alcohol abuse, his criminal history or his deportation.

"I know very well who I am and what I do. I have nothing to worry about," he said.

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