Imagine living a peaceful life, doing no harm to anyone—and still getting wrongfully arrested three times just because you have the same name as a wanted criminal?
That’s what happened to a Colombian man named Rene Martinez Gutierrez. He has been put to jail thrice in just over a decade by mistake for having the same name as a drug dealer from Peru, who has been slapped with numerous arrest warrants not only in his country, but also in other parts of the globe.
According to The SUN, the last time Gutierrez was arrested was early this month when he returned to Columbia to visit his dad. Interpol officials approached him during his arrival at the airport and ordered his arrest. “Gutierrez has been in jail ever since,” the report read.
He was also wrongfully sent to prison for eight days in 2010, when he dropped by a local police station to get a copy of his judicial record for his business venture. A year later, he was again wrongfully arrested when he reported a robbery in his workplace. He spent two months in jail.
“His name and date of birth coincided with a person who was wanted for being an accomplice to a man who transported 20 kilos of cocaine embedded in a television in Peru in 2006,” his wife told local newspaper El Tiempo.
"I almost died. Then, they gave me his wallet, his cell phone and the wedding band and they took him to the dungeons,” she recalled.
The SUN said the 46-year-old is being held in the Los Martires police station, waiting for confirmation that he isn’t the criminal they’ve been looking for.