Kralendijk – On Monday February 18th, a 33 year old pregnant woman from Venezuela was denied access to Bonaire. The woman did not meet the requirements for access as set out in the “Wet Toelating & Uitzetting BES”.
The law requires that persons who do not fulfill the conditions of entry, to leave the country. For humanitarian reasons and in order to avoid potential health risks, the Royal Netherlands Military Constabulary (KMAR) cancelled the return flight and because of the pregnancy of the woman medical advice was requested, from which it was apparent that the woman was allowed to fly.
Because of the concerns expressed by the Bonaire community, the Island Governor contacted the State Secretary of Justice & Security who is responsible for the “Wet Toelating & Uitzetting BES”. In addition, this was discussed with the public prosecutor, the police and the KMAR.
The KMAR is well aware of the difficult situation and had a personal conversation with the woman. In this conversation it was explained that, as long as the woman is fit to fly on medical advice, she must leave the country, as the law prescribes. Currently the borders between the ABC islands and Venezuela are closed. In addition the KMAR was in contact with the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) and the Ministry of Justice & Security. They agreed that, if an application for family reunification is submitted, the return process of the woman in question will not be initiated. Meanwhile an application for family reunification was submitted. This application is being processed at the IND.