Today, hearts are breaking in Melbourne and Colombia as little Benny Clarke marks his 5th Birthday without his Daddy and sadly, the second of Benny’s birthdays that this loving father and son have spent apart. Today, on Benny’s special day, there will be no hugs and kisses from his Daddy. There will be no gifts of Superhero toys for Benny to open – no laughter and no games. Today there will be no contact between a loving father and his son because Benny and his baby sister have been abducted and are being illegally retained in the home of their maternal grandmother, a convicted criminal who is serving 4 years home detention in Ipiales on the border of Colombia and Ecuador where corruption, crime and violence is rife.
Today also marks 409 heartbreaking days that Robert and his precious children have been wrongfully separated. But the pain Robert and his family in Melbourne feels is greater than grief – they hold grave fears for the safety of their precious children who are currently being illegally retained in a country where violence is the second highest cause of death. According to data released by the WHO in 2017, Colombia is ranked 5th in the world for violent deaths having had 23,530 violent deaths compared to Australia’s 224.
To protect Benny and Lucia from harm we need to bring them home as soon as possible. Thanks to your incredible support, Robert’s petition to the President of the Republic of Colombia, Iván Duque Márquez has gained more than 28,000 signatures! But we need more….
Today on Benny’s 5th Birthday when many are at home in social isolation, please give little Benny the best birthday gift ever by continuing your support to reunite Benny with his Daddy in Australia. Today, please reach out to your family, friends and colleagues and ask them to show they care by signing and sharing the petition so that when the Covid-19 travel bans lift, together we can help bring Benny and Lucia home to the country of their birth where they will be loved and safe from harm.