|Brenda Martin lands back on Canadian soil|
OTTAWA-Brenda Martin is finally home, or as close as she can get as she nears the end of an international nightmare that kept her in a Mexican prison for more than two years.
A van containing Brenda Martin leaves an airport in Waterloo en route to a women's jail in nearby Kitchener after her release from a Mexican prison on May 1, 2008.
Martin, 51, landed at the Region of Waterloo International Airport in Breslau, Ont. around 6 p.m. yesterday in the custody of officials from the Correctional Service of Canada. She was immediately taken to the Grand Valley Institution for Women in Kitchener.
A spokesperson for Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day said in an email that Martin is eligible for an accelerated parole review - meaning she could be freed within weeks or months.
Martin's mother, Marjorie Bletcher, 69, heard the long-awaited news on television.
"I'm thrilled she's going to come back to Canada, even if she had to go into prison for a while," Bletcher said from her home in Trenton. "I'm sure it's going to be a pleasant surprise compared to what she has been through in Mexico."
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Brenda Martin is a Canadian woman who has been imprisoned in a Mexican jail since February 2006. Brenda’s family have been desperately attempting to raise awareness of her plight, calling on the Canadian Government to ensure that she receives a fair trial.|
Brenda was the chef for Alyn Richard Waage, owner of an investment company that turned out to be fraudulent. Waage fired Brenda as his chef in 2001 with severance pay, where she than invested the money into Waage’s business which she thought was legitimate.
One month later Waage was arrest for fraud and is currently serving a 10 year sentence in North Carolina. Brenda was picked up by Mexican authorities years later for allegedly being involved in the scheme. Although she was charged with being a member of a criminal organization and money laundering, there has never been a trial where she has been able to present her defence and she is not aware of any evidence being presented to prove her guilty of those charges.
Brenda has had limited contact with her family and friends, and at this point, her fate is in the hands of the Mexican Government. Brenda, a Canadian Citizen, has now been held in jail, without due process, for over 2 years. She has tried to commit suicide three times, losing over 30 pounds making her under 100 pounds in weight. She is depressed and despondent and believes that no one cares. Those who have seen her recently say that she will not live for another 6 months unless she is freed from jail.
Recently, Brenda has been on suicide watch, having been removed from the general prison population several times now. There has been extensive national media coverage on Brenda, who has been emotionally supported by her childhood friend Debra Tieleman. The Government of Canada has failed to act in intervening in this case, despite pleas from citizens around Canada, opposition MPs, Brenda’s mother and Brenda herself. Recently, Brenda was visited by former Prime Minister Paul Martin in prison to offer support.
Brenda feels that if she is not helped now, with the support of the Canadian Government, she feels she will perish in prison.
Funds donated to the 'Save Brenda Fund' will go toward Brenda's basic health and hygiene needs as well as legal costs to help fight for Brenda Martin's release.
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