Sunday, March 9, 2008

A Canuck in Mexican Jail Hospitalized

Back in January I wrote about the case of Brenda Martin, a Canadian woman in jail in Guadalajara, Mexico. Ms. Martin has been in prison for over two years, without being convicted of a crime. I have read more and more and I am convinced that this is an innocent woman languishing in jail and she needs more help than the Canadian government seems to be giving her. I have said in the past that I am wary of blogging about political matters, but I just can't sit on my hands on this one (though I will try to phrase my post in a very general, informational way).

A few weeks ago her Canadian attorney was told by the Mexican Foreign Affairs minister that the court would finally convene this past Friday to determine if her rights have been violated. When she was arrested, she was not provided any kind of translation service and was processed in Spanish without understanding what was going on. There is no evidence to suggest that she was a participant in the crime she is accused of. The man who did perpetrate the crime has written letters stating that she was not involved, that she in fact was another one of his victims. Friday arrived and court. It is unclear if it was miscommunication or if there is some political playing going on here, but this poor woman is distraught. Watching the video on this page (see "interview with Mike Duffy) just about broke my heart, this is a woman who is obviously at the end of her rope.

Today's news is sadder still. Ms. Martin has been transferred out of the jail to a hospital, heavily sedated and on suicide watch. I hope she receives the monitoring and care she needs and deserves and I really hope that someone from the Canadian government is there to oversee everything that goes into her treatment.

I don't want to editorialize (well, I do, but I am afraid to), but clearly something must be done. Both governments need to work together to ensure that this woman's rights have been upheld, that her health is taken into account and to clear this case once and for all. No one should have to sit in jail for over two years without a conviction! As a Canadian living in Mexico, I AM afraid of the authorities, I would hope for more assistance from the Canadian government than Ms. Martin seems to be getting.

Please sign this petition to push the Canadian government to step up its intervention, and here is a page to raise funds to assist in her legal fees. Please, sign the petition, donate money if you can, and spread the word about this woman's predicament. If anyone can think of anything else that can be done, let us know! My thoughts are with Brenda Martin today, please send positive energy to her in her very precarious state.


Manolo said...

I hear this week that the deadline passed and nothing happened. I am more inclined to talk politics than you do, but really, this is a bare human rights/ human dignity case. No charges, dumped with CONVICTED criminals, no translator, what a nightmare.

CancunCanuck said...

Manolo- Nope, nothing happened. In fact, the court house was closed on the promised day (sooo Mexican, lol). I know you are more inclined to post about politics, you are in less danger. My FM3 (visa to live in Mexico) is expiring in April, I shouldn't be taking any chances but this one I just couldn't let lie.

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