After keeping them detained for four days, Mexican immigration authorities have allowed the majority of about 100 Romanian citizens detained at Cancún International Airport to enter Mexico after the Romanian government issued a diplomatic protest.
“Following the phone conversation held on February 3 between Foreign Affairs Minister Bogdan Aurescu and his Mexican counterpart, Mexican authorities have remedied the situation of the Romanian citizens blocked at the Cancún International Airport,” the Romanian foreign ministry said. “At the same time, Mexico’s foreign affairs minister has offered his Romanian peer regrets over the negative impact of the Mexican authorities’ actions.”
Foreign Affairs Minister Marcelo Ebrard said that authorities from both countries were working together with Mexico’s immigration agency to ensure that such an incident was not repeated.
“Mexico always welcomes Romanians,” he said.
According to Romanian Embassy officials, Mexico informed them that the travelers, the exact number of which was not confirmed by Mexican authorities, were detained for various reasons, including travel alerts issued by Mexican security authorities and the lack of sufficient justification for traveling in Mexico.
All the detained passengers arrived in Cancún Sunday on a Lufthansa flight.
Mexican security officials told the newspaper La Jornada that the travel alerts were issued by Mexico’s central intelligence agency (CNI). They said that airport authorities acted in accordance with security protocols regarding the entry of persons with travel alerts, who could represent a national security risk.
The newspaper Milenio suggested that the alerts may have been related to cyber fraud and a previous case in Mexico related to bank card cloning. However, Mexican authorities have not confirmed that information.
The detained passengers had their cell phones and other belongings confiscated, according to La Jornada, but managed to contact families back in Romania using an electronic tablet that one passenger had managed to hide from Mexican authorities. Not long afterward, their plight made news throughout Romania, as several of the detainees’ stories were detailed in news stories there.