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Vandaag laten we Sergio Martinez aan het woord
RECENTLY, ON March 25, I visited the island of Curaçao where I flew from Medellín, Colombia. I was to meet my girlfriend there who flew in from Germany and where we planned to spend a two-week vacation.
After perusing my passport (from Mexico), the immigration agent refused to stamp it, thereby denying me entry into the island. She claimed that there were non-official stamps on it which invalidated my passport, stamps like that of touristic places such as Machu Picchu (Peru), Galapagos Islands (Ecuador) and several more stamps. It is important to mention that none of these stamps blocked or interfered in any way with any official or customs stamp on my passport.
After acknowledging my mistake of allowing non-official stamps on my passport I pleaded for an exception in order to be allowed into Curaçao but the answer was always ‘no’. I even tried to convince the immigration supervisor who also denied me entry. Sometime later Mr. Curiel (from the police) told me to follow him. He said that ‘since I refused to leave Curaçao on that day’s flight back to Medellín, I would stay in the local prison until the next flight out which was in four (4) days time’. My immediate response was that I was not given the option to leave the island that same day! No one mentioned that I could fly back to Medellín, which I would have done instead of spending four days in prison (from March 25th through March 29th)!
To conclude this story, I spent four (4) nights and three (3) days in the prison of ‘Dominguito’ sector in Curaçao where the guards were helpful and kind to me and to the other inmates (illegal aliens mostly from Jamaica, Haïti, Venezuela, et cetera). I am very thankful to the guards for helping me find the phone number to the hotel where I was to meet with my girlfriend and for allowing me to call her several times to inform her of my situation.
– Is it that important for a passport to not have non-custom stamps? I have been travelling for 18 months, through 8 countries, and I never had problems regarding my passport.
– Why was I NOT told about the return flight to Medellín that same day? Was this part of a plan to punish me out of malice by sending me to prison? My girlfriend asked about me at the airport (upon her arrival from Germany) and several immigration agents answered: “The guy from Mexico? Yes, we sent him back to Medellín.” That was false, of course.
While in prison, the guard handed me a document which prohibited me from returning to Curaçao within three (3) years time. I told the guard I do not plan to ever return to this unfriendly place.