After spending two years in jail, the Canadian Brenda Martin has now been sentenced to another five years for her participation in an investment scam.

A great many tears have been shed over this case and Conservative politicians have been flying to Mexico to see what they can do. Many Canadians seem to believe Brenda Martin has been hard done by by the legal authorities in Mexico.

But what are the facts? As the Globe says today in its leader, « there does not appear to have been any great injustice perpetrated against her in Mexico. »

No one has supplied evidence that Mexico treated Ms Martin inhumanely or denied her a fair assessment of the facts in her case.  Canadian consular officials and Paul Martin and Stephen Harper have intervened in her case.

There is no evidence Ms Martin was abused or denied medical care in custody.  Her sentence is at the low end of what Mexican law sets out for the offence of which she was convicted.

What if a Mexican national were convicted of a serious crime in Canada and all kinds of do-gooders from Mexico descended on us  demanding his release?  What would our attitude be?

Canadians who work or travel abroad have a right to expect basic standards of justice.  As the Globe writes this morning, « No evidence has been offered that Mexico violated basic standards in Ms Martin’s case. »   In any event the Mexican government is expected to transfer Ms Martin to Canada to serve any jail time remaining here.



  1. 1
    Joe Agnost Says:

    All I’ve heard is HER claiming she’s innocent. I’ve seen no evidence indicating ANYTHING.

    I personally don’t know if she’s guilty or not… it looks like Mexico has acted appropriately in this case. Just because she’s a canadian and unstable doesn’t mean I’m going to get my knickers in a knot over her plight.

  2. 2
    jim Says:

    My observations of the Canadian Consular Officials in the past is that they are there to protect the Mexican Government. Regarding Martin, when CTV first visited the Consular Office they could not get an interview with any Canadian representative and were turned away by a Mexican sitting behind what appeared to be bulletproof glass. Try this question. « How long did it take them to approach Martin? »

  3. 3
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    What bugs me here is the fact that in a Mexican court the accused is presumed guilty until he proves he or she is innocent. It is the other way around here. Her boss’s affidavit that she was innocent of any wrong doing, in a Canadian court would probably have created reasonnable doubt and she would have been acquitted by a jury, maybe even by a judge alone.
    By Mexican standards she was fairly treated. Of course when you travel abroad you can not exspect to be treated as you would in Canada. And besides baksheesh is king here even for a traffic violation. My folks were warned that a tip was in order at the border..so?

  4. 4
    Chimera Says:

    « Canadians who work or travel abroad have a right to expect basic standards of justice. »

    Sez who?

    If Canadians want to expect certain « basic » standards, they should do their homework about where they’re going before they leave home!

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