THE ABDUCTION AND ILLEGAL RETENTION OF AUSTRALIAN CHILDREN, BENNY & LUCIA CLARKE IN COLOMBIA
- Robert Clarke is the father of two Australian born children, Benny (4 years) and Lucia (16 months) Clarke.
- Their Colombian mother Maria Yepez Oviedo, has lived in Australia since 2013 and is a permanent resident.
- Both children were born in Melbourne, Australia: Benny April 3rd 2015 and Lucia September 18th 2018.
- Benny and Lucia are both Australian citizens and hold Australian passports.
- Both children had resided in Australia from birth prior to being abducted and unlawfully retained in Colombia.
- On 20 February 2019, while on a family holiday, Benny and Lucia were illegally retained in Colombia by Maria and her family. Robert has not seen his children since.
- On 12 March 2019, Robert commenced legal proceedings under The Hague Convention to have his children returned to the country of their birth.
- On 20 December 2019, the Colombian judge ruled the Clarke Children had been illegally retained in Colombia but failed to rule that they be returned home to Australia.
- This ruling by Judge Hernan Rodriguez Reina in Ipiales Colombia, is in breach of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.
- In February 2020, Robert Clarke and his Australian family have just one opportunity to appeal this decision.
CLARKE FAMILY VIDEO APPEAL TO PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF COLOMBIA, IVÁN DUQUE MÁRQUEZ