Romanian tourists, prisoners at Cancun airport. Officers took their documents and phones

Traumatic experience for dozens of Romanians, including children stranded at an airport in Cancun, some three days after authorities barred them from entering the country with their passports and phones.

The Foreign Ministry said the Mexican situation was encouraged because the Romanians did not properly justify the purpose of the trip and some warnings appeared when their travel documents were checked.

Two years ago, a Romanian-led criminal group living in Mexico was accused of defrauding hundreds of people across the border into the United States.

More than a hundred Romanians face several hours of trials in Cancun, Mexico. There are tourists who came there by two planes. Some traveled on their own, while others paid for holiday packages for two large travel companies in Romania.

Gabriel Hart was one of the Romanians detained at the Mexican airport for nearly 20 hours. He says no Mexican authority has explained to tourists why they are being detained at the border.

Gabriel Hart, Travel: “It came to our notice. Our passports and phones were taken away and we were locked in a small space.

Bokton Sikarochi, Travel: “Since landing, all Romanians have been placed in a special corridor where we are restrained, separated from families, we line up on a wall, we are given no explanation, no information, children are crying.”

Some of the Romanian tourists went on social media and asked for the help of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs there.

Clara Nister and her husband are planning a vacation in Mexico after a difficult year. They paid almost 3 thousand euros – instead – they had a bad dream. Mexican authorities separated Clara from her partner. Her husband graduated from the Border Police and was denied entry to Cancun.

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Clara Nister, Travel: “They started saying my husband could enter Mexico. They took my passport. They took our phones and told us we were not allowed to use the phones. I saw my husband for the last time.”

Hours later, some Romanians detained by Mexican customs officials boarded the first flight from Cancun Airport to Paris. The others were sent to Frankfurt.

Clara Nister, Travel: “We came to the door of the plane, where they pushed and shoved us and threatened to imprison us because if we didn’t get on the plane we would go to jail. They showed us handcuffs.”

Bokton Sikarochi, Travel: “We were only going to the toilet with one armed person because after about four hours we were given a boarding ticket and we were sent back.”

A statement from the Foreign Ministry said, “The decision to restrict access to Mexico was made on the basis of responses to interviews with Romanian citizens – the purpose of the trip was not properly justified. As a result, warnings were issued when checking travel documents submitted by the persons concerned.

The MFA said it was in talks with the United Mexican state embassy in Bucharest and was seeking solutions to the problem of Romanians detained at the airport in Cancun.

At Mexican airports, the restrictions are strict. The country is facing an increase in crime and there are cases of immigrants using Central America to reach the United States.

In the summer of 2019, a one-man-led group from Dolge, known as the “Recinu” in the underworld, was accused of helping hundreds of Romanians get false documents in Mexico and then fraudulently cross the Mexican border into the United States. The “Rechinu” -led group is said to have received millions of dollars from the cloning of the cards, and from the money obtained illegally, the person would have built two blocks on the Mexican Riviera. It is also suspected that “Rechinu” ordered the killing of an accomplice.

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Romanian tourists who are now denied entry to Mexico are less likely to get their holiday pay back.

Christian Zaha, a travel agency representative: “Nothing can be done about the refund. It is a matter of concern that the company cannot be held liable for such circumstances that do not allow local authorities to enter the country.”

The Romanian Foreign Ministry did not recommend a trip to Mexico.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reminds that Romanian citizens can request embassy assistance at the telephone numbers of the Romanian Embassy in Mexico City: 00 52 55 5280 0447 and 00 52 55 5280 1869, calls are forwarded to the Romanian Citizens’ Contact and Support Center. Acquired on a permanent basis overseas (CCSCRS) and by call center operators.

Also, Romanian citizens facing difficult, special circumstances, with urgency, have the emergency phone number of the diplomatic mission in Mexico City: 00 52 55 38 833 072.

Eden Hayes

"Wannabe gamer. Subtly charming beer buff. General pop culture trailblazer. Incurable thinker. Certified analyst."

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