Aussie’s father’s broken Colombian vacation turns into a nightmare when his wife leaves him, “takes the children” and refuses to return – and he has not seen them since
- Robert Clarke traveled to the country with his wife Maria Nelly Yepez Oviedo
- Clarke was forced to travel home alone and has not seen his children since
- The Melbourne man hopes to get them back through the Hague Convention
A heartbroken father is trapped in a desperate struggle to have his children return to Australia after a family vacation to Colombia turned into a nightmare.
Robert Clarke traveled with his South American wife Maria Nelly Yepez Oviedo and their children, four-year-old Benny and Lucia, to the country for 16 months to attend a wedding in February 2019.
But not long after they arrived, Oviedo told her husband that she was leaving him, staying in Colombia and keeping the children.
“My children are the most important things in my life, so it has taken everything away,” said a devastated Mr. Clarke An ongoing case.
Robert Clarke traveled with his South American wife Maria Nelly Yepez Oviedo and their children, four-year-old Benny and Lucia, to the country for 16 months to attend a wedding in February 2019
The father of Melbourne said that he was completely blinded by Maria, but became suspicious when they visited a Colombian children’s center together.
“Maria said to me,” let’s take Benny to the nursery so he can play with some kids, “Mr. Clarke said.
“The toddler’s head came down to give Benny a uniform and I said to her,” “Why do we have to buy a uniform for two weeks?” “And she looked at me with this really strange look.”
Clarke claims that Maria has seized their passports and has issued a writ of execution against him, forcing him to travel home alone.
A Colombian court found that Ms. Oviedo had violated the Hague Convention by illegally retaining the children, but it was not ordered that the children be returned to Australia.
Mr. Clarke said that his son Benny (both pictured) was his best friend and he will not give up in the fight to get them back
The judge argued that too much time had passed since they arrived in Colombia, that they had settled in their new environment and that it would be harmful to remove them.
Mr Clarke has launched a petition to Colombian President Iván Duque Márquez to honor the country’s commitment to the Hague Convention so that he can be with his children again.
The petition has more than 9,000 signatures.
Mr. Clarke said he will not give up in the fight, and had a message for his “best friend,” Benny.
“I love your little man, and I’m not going to stop fighting for you and Lucia,” he said.
Mrs. Oviedo strongly denied that she had committed misconduct when approached by A Current Affair, but insisted that she would not return to Australia.
“No, we are not going back, we are not going back because we have no one … And I am very afraid of going back.”
Mr. Clarke is returning to Colombia later this month to appeal the court’s decision not to return to Australia to children.
Clarke has written a petition to Colombian President Iván Duque Márquez to honor the country’s commitment to the Hague Convention so that he can be with his children again