COLOMBIAN MOTHER ALIENATES BENNY & LUCIA FROM AUSTRALIAN FATHER, THEIR FAMILY, CULTURE & THE LAND OF THEIR BIRTH
Maria Yepez Oviedo, mother of the children and her family have taken significant steps to alienate the children from their father, their Australian heritage and their large Australian family who have loved and cared for them from the moment they were born.
Maria has consistently denied Benny and Lucia contact with their loving Australian family and failed to provide photographs of the children (for six months) to Benny and Lucia’s grandparents.
There is a great deal of evidence that substantiates Robert’s assertions that Maria and her family are actively alienating Benny and Lucia from their Australian father, their family, their culture and heritage.
DR ALISON CLARKE
BENNY & LUCIA’S PATERNAL GRANDMOTHER WAS DENIED ACCESS TO THE CHILDREN
For seven-and-a-half months (7.5), Dr Alison Clarke (Benny and Lucia’s Australian grandmother) has consistently tried to speak with her beloved grandchildren making 52 voice phone calls to Maria. These calls were unanswered or declined. 4 calls were answered – 3 calls in March (9, 14 and 21 of March 2019) and 1 call on 2 November 2019.
SAM CLARKE & FAMILY
BENNY & LUCIA’S UNCLE WAS DENIED ACCESS TO THE CHILDREN
Benny and Lucia’s paternal Australian uncle Sam, and the father of Benny’s much loved cousin Samantha has made seven (7) video calls to Maria in the hope of speaking with Benny and Lucia and so little Samantha can speak with her best little mate, Benny. Maria has never answered or returned those calls. Sam also sent two messages via WhatsApp pleading with Maria to allow them to speak with Benny and Lucia. Maria did not respond.
DR EMILY CLARKE
BENNY & LUCIA’S AUNT WAS DENIED ACCESS TO THE CHILDREN
Benny and Lucia’s paternal Australian aunt, Dr Emily Clarke has made 23 calls to Maria in the hope of speaking with Benny and Lucia. Of these, Maria ignored or missed 19 calls, answered 4 calls, and returned Emily’s calls 4 times.
FATHER’S ONLY CONTACT WITH HIS CHILDREN – LONG DISTANCE PHONE CALLS
Between 22 February 2019 (the date Robert was forced to return to Australia) and 18 August 2019, Robert has spoken with his children Benny and Lucia 110 times. The average length of Robert’s phone calls was 35 minutes, with the longest being 1.04 hours.
- During these calls, Benny showed distress that he was being retained in Colombia away from his father and Australian family. He desperately wanted his “Daddy”.
- On 26 February 2019, Benny said, “I want to go to Australia for Daddy”. In the background Maria said “NO”.
- On 28 February 2019, Benny said, “Daddy, are you coming to Colombia?”
- On 2 March 2019, Benny said, “I want to dream of Daddy & the Boy (Daddy and Benny).” ‘Daddy and the Boy’ are Benny’s much loved stories that Robert would make up for Benny at bedtimes. In these stories father and son would have amazing adventures – always together.
- On 11 March 2019, Benny spoke to his cousin Samantha for first time since the abduction and illegal retention in Colombia. The 4 year-old cousins are best friends. They both told each other, “I miss you…”.
- On 13 April 2019, Dr Murray Clarke, Benny and Lucia’s Australian paternal grandfather, shared a video call to the children with Robert. Benny said to his grandfather, “You’re a peanut!” and had a big laugh. It was a joke Murray and Benny shared together that little Benny had remembered. Because of the children’s illegal abduction and retention in Colombia, it is unknown how long Benny will remember the deep love of his Australian family.
- When the court hearing commenced, Robert’s contact with his beloved children was thwarted when Maria stopped taking Roberts calls, cutting off all access and communication between father and son.
- The last time Maria allowed Robert to speak with his children was 3 January 2020
- Daily, Robert continued to try and speak with his son but he’d been blocked by Maria and her family.
- Maria and her parents also blocked the children’s Australian family (Emily, Murray, Alison and Sam) on WhatsApp and other social media applications – effectively blocking their ability to communicate with Benny and Lucia and alienating the children even further from their homeland.
- After Robert’s many appeals to Maria to be allowed to speak with Benny, Maria told Robert that she would only permit him to speak with Benny if he sent her a phone and a sim card with pre-paid data.
- Robert is arranging for a phone and sim card in the hope that Maria will allow him to speak with Benny. However, based on Maria’s previous actions it is believed that she will continue to deny father and son to maintain their close-knit bond.
As part of the court process, the court ordered two reports be prepared: Psychological Assessment Report, Social Worker Report .
These two poorly researched and written reports were presented as evidence to Judge Hernan Rodriguez Reina (Reports dated 20 May 2019 and 24 May 2019). However, the people involved in preparing these reports failed to conduct adequate research to verify the facts including interviewing Robert, (the father).
This incompetent reporting resulted with conclusions based solely on the view of Maria (the mother) which contained many untruths with the reports strongly biasing the opinion of the Judge to rule in favour of the mother.
THE REPORTS SHOULD BE DISCREDITED & INADMISSIBLE TO THE COURT
The information provided in those reports appears to be ‘tailored’ and provides a large number of false accounts and accusations made by Maria including:
- In regard to the social conditions in which Benny and Lucia are being wrongfully retained.
- The report fails to include mention that the Australian children are living with a convicted criminal (the maternal grandmother) who is serving four (4) years home detention for crimes committed in Colombia. This woman is not financially well resourced having limited capacity to provide an appropriate environment for the children, now or in the future. https://www.fiscalia.gov.co/colombia/noticias/fiscalia-imputo-cargos-por-peculado-a-extesorera-del-municipio-de-ipiales-narino/
- The psychological assessment and conclusions in the report are drawn on the basis of minimal examination during a single visit for a limited period of time.
- This report is based primarily on the view of the mother reporting an extensive number of untruths and ignoring substantiated evidence. This includes failing to acknowledge the loving and caring relationship shared between Robert and his children from the moment of their birth in Australia
- The report also fails to acknowledge that the care and raising of the children was shared equally by their father from birth until the mother wrongfully abducted and illegally retained Benny and Lucia in Colombia.
- The report is based on untruths and false assertions throughout including Maria’s claim that Robert abandoned her when he travelled to Cali in preparation for his brother’s wedding. This is easily proven to be untrue. The airline tickets purchased by Robert for Maria and the children to fly to meet him for the wedding verify this fact. Maria unilaterally chose to remain in Ipiales with the children (as per evidence given by Irma Lucy Oviedo Huertas in court) to action her premediated plan to illegally abduct and retain the children in Colombia.
- By providing misinformation Maria is perpetrating untruths to the court to substantiate her wrongfully retention of Benny and Lucia in Colombia which is causing serious and long-term psychological harm to the children.
- The psychologist who prepared the report has failed in his duty of care to undertake appropriate investigations assuming that everything Maria has told him is true and correct and failed to take an appropriate clinical perspective and conduct an interview with Robert. It appears that the psychologist has not considered the case appropriately having failed to investigate if the claims made by Maria (included in his report) are truthful; and significantly, has failed to consider possible alternate reasons behind these claims including Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
- Narcissistic Personality Disorder is the working diagnosis of Maria’s psychologist in Melbourne, on the basis of repeated consultations (as per Point 16 of Rob’s Reply Affidavit dated 13 August 2019). Narcissistic Personality Disorder is characterised by lying, manipulation, a lack of empathy, sense of entitlement, lack of guilt and relationship difficulties.
Under instructions from his client, Maria’s lawyer stated in court that Dr Alison Clarke (the Australian grandmother) was unable to help Maria care for the children because she needed to care for her invalid husband. This is untrue. Dr Murray Clarke is fit and well. Dr Murray Clarke continues to undertake numerous physical activities including extensive hiking and bike riding. Maria is aware that both paternal grandparents enjoy an active retirement. In January 2019, Murray and Alison completed a 4 day hike to Cuidad Perdida in Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia and a 9 day hike in Patagonia, Chile.
Medical reports of the health and fitness of the paternal grandparents have not been requested by Judge Hernan Rodriguez Reina. Medical reports can be provided to the court to refute this assertion made by Maria in an attempt to support her illegal retention of the children in Colombia.