Mexico selectively deports Bulgarian tourists, and the authorities in our country do not take any action on the cases, which have become more frequent since the beginning of the year. The association “Future for Tourism” (OBT) has warned about this. It has referred the ministries of foreign affairs and tourism, our embassy in Mexico and the honorary consul of Mexico in our country.
So far, 27 Bulgarians of 6 tour operators have been deported without explanation. The first case is from October, then there is one from December and already several in January. All the deportees are from the airport in Cancun, Dimitar Baltov, vice-chairman of OBT and manager of “Rual Travel”, told Mediapool.
He says that immediately after the plane landed, some of the passengers were diverted and taken to separate rooms by uniformed persons. There, they take away their mobile phones and expel them back on the same plane or after a few days without explanation, Baltov said.
According to him, the most scandalous case is with four tourists on “Holiday Time”, in which the health and even the lives of people were endangered. They were detained and locked in cells for 4 days – from 9 to 13 January 2023, like criminals, without explanation, without any possibility to contact the tour operator, our embassy or their family. Moreover, they were not provided with food and water, claim the Bulgarian victims.
Royal Travel has also faced the problem. According to Baltov, aggrieved tourists explained to him that the authorities in Mexico treated them rudely, spoke only in Spanish and did not allow them to call our embassy in Mexico, which is a violation of international law.
“It is about paying tourists who travel a lot, have traveled half the globe and have never encountered anything like this before. For their “vacation” in Cancun, which turned into a Nightmare, they paid a minimum of 2,000 euros. Apart from everything else, the luggage to a considerable part of the deported clients it was lost and not recovered”commented Baltov.
After the incident in December, Royal Travel sent a letter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and received a reply, according to which the reason for their deportation was the lack of pre-paid holiday vouchers, which does not correspond to the facts.
“As a reason for refusing entry to Mexico, the authorities point to inconsistencies in the information presented by the individuals when they were interviewed, and in particular – the lack of a prepaid hotel reservation, which is accepted as the inability to prove a residence address in Mexico. (… ) As a result of meetings held by a representative of the Embassy of Bulgaria in Mexico with employees of the National Migration Institute, reasons similar to the ones mentioned in the above letter were provided for the refusal of Bulgarian citizens. Copies of the decisions issued to deny access to the territory of Mexico to Bulgarian citizens, and upon receipt, they will be brought to your attention. The Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Mexico continues to maintain contact with the Mexican authorities, with a view to clarifying the situation.” This is stated in the letter of our foreign ministry to the tour operator.
Baltov claims that Mexican authorities are selective about who to deport from the group. On average, between 5 and 10% of Bulgarians traveling, organized by tour operators, to Cancun have encountered the problem in the last month, according to the data collected so far by the Ministry of Transportation.
The only case with a favorable outcome is that of four tourists of “Glob Travel”. The Mexican authorities confiscated their phones, but one of the group had a smart watch and managed to send a message to the Bulgarian consul in Mexico. After his intervention, the tourists were allowed on the territory of the country, according to OBT.
The “Future for Tourism” association insists on the decisive intervention of Bulgarian diplomats and the immediate cessation of “this ugly and absolutely groundless targeting of random Bulgarian citizens at Cancun airport”.
The association wants an urgent and decisive reaction from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Embassy of Bulgaria in Mexico, as well as from our honorary consul in Mexico in order to stop the described absolutely unacceptable practice of the Mexican authorities, given that the two countries maintain diplomatic relations.
At the moment, there is no official position from the ministries of foreign affairs and tourism on the case. The two ministries are working together to resolve the issue. It is expected that they will come out with information in the coming days, the Ministry of Tourism told Mediapool.