Decision for Canadian in Mexican Jail Expected Today

Monday, April 14, 2008
Canadian Brenda Martin should learn whether she'll be released from a Mexican prision today or spend the next 15 years behind bars. For those of you don't know, and that's probably most of you, Brenda Martin has spent the last two years imprisoned in a Mexican jail for consipiracy, fraud and money laundering. Long story short, Martin worked as a chef in Mexico for Edmonton investor Alyn Richard Waage who has been since been convicted of fraud and is serving a prison sentence in the states. She was eventually let go and given a severence package, part of which she invested in Waage's business. According to one CBC article, officials say that Martin's "close relationship for a fair length of time" with Waage "leads to the supposition that she had some knowledge of the criminal activities in which her friend was engaged."

Martin has never been allowed to testify in her defense and has been awaiting the judge's verdict in her case. Nor was she provided with a translator during her interviews with police. Even Waage, in his sworn affidavit, states that Martin had no involvement or knowledge of his scams.

I'm seriously confused as to my feelings about this case. I tend to believe, based on the news reports I've seen and the articles I've read, that Ms. Martin is likely innocent of the charges that she's accused of. And yes, I think that she should have been provided with an interpreter in order to help not only herself but the judge and other officials involved in the case. However, when you go to another country you have to realize that they're systems don't work the same way as ours do and you're not necessarily innocent until proven guilty. I'm sure the last thing she expected when she went to Mexico was to be wrongly imprisoned. There are also claims about the conditions of the prison she's being held in - again, I go back to idea that things aren't the same in other countries as they are here. What we consider the minimum standards for prisoners are considered luxurious by some other countries (and frankly, I personally think we treat prisoners a bit too leniently but that's another post).

Government officials have met with Martin and her representatives as well as Mexican officials. Whether this was to help expedite Ms. Martin's case, to check on her, or to pressure the Mexican government into releasing her, who knows. What is known is that Ms. Martin was working in Mexico illegally - she had no work visa. And I'm curious as to why she'd invest a portion of her severence package with the employer who just fired her. Regardless of all that, we'll find out sometime today what Martin's fate is to be. No doubt both Canadian and Mexican officials want this out of the way so as to not put any bad publicity on the upcoming "Three Amigos" summit in New Orleans. The thought of Bush, Harper (baby Bush), and Calderon together.... *shudder*


Gardenia said...

Yes, shudder indeed. Three Amigos sounds like a Bushphenism. Yaahhhhhgaaaaaaah. Can't they wait until AFTER elections? No, gotta get it done before Hillary gets in there and shuts down the gravy train for the illegal immigrants.....Canada will lose in this one - U.S. has sold out to the devil, will drag everyone down with it.

Ya, ya, I know that sounds like some redneck backwoods editorial, but 'tis true.

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