The ordeal of a father who, 189 days later, received the call of his son, an Argentine imprisoned in the suffocating “pot of Africa”

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Oscar told Clarín the other side of a story of despair: his son Nicolás Bossie was detained in a jail in the hottest place in Mali, where “he did not see the sun.” His passport expired in a country where that is a crime.

Oscar says that he has no more tears to shed. The first that fell from his eyes was when his son called him to tell him that he was being detained in Mali for having expired documents. The second when they confirmed that she had stayed prisoner in a prison in an area known as “the pot of Africa”due to its scorching temperatures.

The third, on the other hand, was not one of anguish or sadness: Oscar cried when his son called him to notify him that he had regained his freedom after more than six months of living in hell.

The story of Nicolás Bossie (32) began ten years ago. When the young man was born in Mercedes, Buenos Aires province, he understood that hisyour life was far away of that typical city of the humid pampa and that his place, on the other hand, was beyond the borders. So it was that she began to travel. with his backpack and sleeping bag first he toured South America, then Europe, Oceania and Africa. The world belonged to him.

In the first months of this year, when Nicolás was in Morocco his passport expired. He then traveled to Senegal and finally in May he decided to cross into Mali, where he entered with the expired document. That moment was the start of his ordeal.


Nicolás Bossie was imprisoned in a Mali prison known as “the pot of Africa”.

While Nicholas rested in one of the streets of that country He was questioned by policemen. When demonstrating the expiration in the documents, he was detained. In Mali, not carrying documentation proving identity is considered a criminal offense. They accused him of being undocumented and of bumfor not accrediting place and stable occupation.

The first thing that Nicolás did at that moment was to call his father: “They are taking me to a place to ask me some questions because my passport has expired, but rest assured that everything will be fine“. So it was that Oscar shed the first tear. Maybe he knew what was coming.

The months that followed were agonizing. Six in total since that May 17 when they spoke for the last time in a long time. In the middle, Oscar started as he could all kinds of actions. She went out to speak for all the media and contacted the Foreign Ministry.

Nicolás Bossie, an Argentine globetrotter who traveled for ten years until he was arrested in Mali for having expired documents.
Nicolás Bossie, an Argentine globetrotter who traveled for ten years until he was arrested in Mali for having expired documents.

Without an Argentine embassy in Mali, the only option was to go to the closest, in Algeriafor what a mission He went to where Bossie was detained to take him a passport with the urgent objective of documenting it.

On that trip, he also manifested concern regarding the situation of the young man, and it was requested that all the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations be complied with, to guarantee his rights.

Nicolás Bossié, the Argentine detained in Africa.
Nicolás Bossié, the Argentine detained in Africa.

It is that during the 189 days in which Nicolás was detained Little did he know🇧🇷 The family contacted each other every so often with a social worker from jail who -in rudimentary English- told them that the young man was fine. But I never sent them a photo or video. The contact was almost nil and the desperation increased.

Through a contact they reached a lawyer from Algeria, who in turn brought them closer to another lawyer from Mali, who finally took up the case. After two weeks of paperwork, Nicolás achieved parole.

“On Tuesday, after Argentina’s match against Saudi Arabiathe phone rang with a very rare feature and I attended. It was Nico. I couldn’t believe it, hearing it again was wonderful,” recalls Oscar. But the story worried him again.

Without seeing the sun, polenta once a day and overcrowded in jail at 46°C

About the days when his son was still in prison there are things you don’t know. But in those 20 minutes in which they were able to speak Nicolás recounted some of those ordeals in the African hell.

Nicolás Bossie and his father Oscar, desperate on the other side of the world.
Nicolás Bossie and his father Oscar, desperate on the other side of the world.

“I don’t want to ask him a lot about his days, it must have been a lot of suffering. He told me that he was locked in a cell with 10 other people. That to sleep, his head touched the other’s legs. They gave him polenta or rice once a day. I didn’t see the sun and had a very short daily outing,” he says.

The place where Bossie was detained is located in the city of Kayesknown as “the pot of Africa” ​​due to its extreme heat. So much so that the place is considered the hottest area of ​​the continent where people live permanently.

Surrounded by mountains rich in iron ore, which help keep the thermometer warm, the city has an average temperature of 35°C. During the months of April and May easily exceeds 46°C.

Nicolás Bossie spent 189 days in prison in Mali.  On the day of Argentina's game with Saudi Arabia, on probation, he was able to call his family,
Nicolás Bossie spent 189 days in prison in Mali. On the day of Argentina’s game with Saudi Arabia, on probation, he was able to call his family,

Now Nicolás will await the continuation of the process in the capital of Mali, Bamako, where rented an apartment. Every Friday you must go to a nearby police station to sign and demonstrate that it complies with the order.

The trial, which will have an abbreviated modality, could be dated next month and the penalty is 8 to 10 months in prisonso it would have already fulfilled more than half.

During the months that Nicolás was deprived of his freedom, the young man had his birthday on August 28 and his mother sent him a message to the prison hoping that one day he would see him.

The message read like this: “Every day I imagine the day you appear in the window and tell me: ‘Hello, mom, here I am’. I love you very much. Don’t ever forget about that. I ask you to take care of yourself and that you are very, very strong. I am always, always waiting for you.”

In Mercedes, where the provincial festival of fried cake takes place, his family is waiting for him. with mates and hugs. And maybe with some tears that still remains to be poured out.

DS

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