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[Mexico: Canadian Brenda]Martin preliminary hearing begins Tuesday
The Intelligencer ^ | December 03, 2007 | Luke Hendry

Posted on 12/03/2007 3:57:06 PM PST by SwinneySwitch

Brenda Martin could be about to have the best birthday of her life.

For the past two years, the former Trenton resident has been in a Mexican prison for her alleged role in an investment scheme.

But in recent days, new hope has surfaced.

Toronto lawyer Guillermo Cruz, who specializes in Mexican law, is now working on Martin's behalf.

Cruz left for Mexico Sunday to prepare for a preliminary hearing there Tuesday.

It's the latest move in a process begun last week when Cruz, his lawyer father and a second Mexican lawyer were in Mexico to file a constitutional injunction on Martin's behalf.

"The main point here is we have to cover all the options in order to help Brenda," Cruz told The Intelligencer Saturday in a telephone interview from Toronto.

"According to the Mexican constitution, any person that is in a Mexican jail is protected by the constitution. And the constitution says that any person has the right to get a fair trial and due process as well," he said.

"Brenda is a Canadian citizen; her mother tongue is English. So in that case she has the right to get all the information in this case in her own language.

"We quickly realized that situation didn't happen, so that's the main issue right now."

That issue dates back to before Martin was even charged; it's alleged she was never given access to a proper interpreter, nor to legal information in English.

Cruz said he believes Martin's civil rights could be violated, and that violation could lead to her release.

The lawyer said he began work on the case Nov. 21, but because of confidentiality, could not say who hired him.

He made it clear, however, that he represents Martin.

The new civil action is separate from Martin's criminal case, but intertwined.

Tuesday's preliminary hearing is just that: an early discussion of the civil matter.

The actual hearing will be held Jan. 7, 2008 - Martin's birthday.

Cruz said the hearing's judge could make three different rulings, including a finding that Martin's rights were violated.

"The judge could order Brenda has to be released. That would be the best scenario," Cruz said.

But the judge could also order a mistrial in the criminal case, starting that process from scratch. Cruz said he and others are now preparing Martin's defence in case it's needed.

The judge's third option, however, is to allow Martin's case to run its course, leaving her in jail awaiting sentencing.

Cruz said he's optimistic about the chances of winning Martin's freedom.

"For sure this one could work," he said. "I have faith."

Joining Cruz last week in Mexico was Debbie Tieleman, Martin's friend since age 14. A former Bayside resident, she now lives in London, Ont.

Tieleman will now rejoin the lawyers in Mexico and, in an interview Saturday, said she was also hopeful about their chances.

"They've accomplished in a few days what hasn't been accomplished in about two years," Tieleman said, calling the civil action "an incredible window of opportunity.

"It's probably the best news Brenda's had in a while."

Tieleman was last in Mexico from Nov. 25 to 29, and said she was granted special permission to spend three days at the Guadalajara prison with Martin.

"It was wonderful to see her, absolutely incredible," she said.

"It was a little bit shocking," Tieleman added. "She's been through a lot, and you see it the minute - the minute - you see her. It's all over her face."

"She probably weighs about 94 pounds," she said, adding Martin's healthy weight is probably about 120 or 125 pounds.

"She's not as mentally stable as she could be," she said, blaming the prison ordeal for her friend's deterioration but noting the latest news appears to be buoying Martin's spirit.

"By the time we left, Brenda was a bit of a different person."

Tieleman said the Canadian government has failed Martin by not ensuring she received proper legal assistance, such as information in English.

Back in Trenton, meanwhile, Martin's mother, Marjorie Bletcher, said she too is hopeful, but very cautious.

"It looks good, but I'm scared to get my hopes up. Every time you do, it sort of gets let down," Bletcher said. "This has been really hard on her, and it's been hard on me too. I feel like I've been in prison too."

She said she spoke to her daughter by telephone Thursday.

"She was in pretty good spirits, the best I've heard for a long time. I think she's got a little bit of hope now," Bletcher said.

"We just want everybody to pray that everything turns out OK."

TOPICS: Canada; Crime/Corruption; Foreign Affairs; Mexico
KEYWORDS: brendamartin; corruption; mexico
"it's alleged she was never given access to a proper interpreter, nor to legal information in English."
1 posted on 12/03/2007 3:57:08 PM PST by SwinneySwitch
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To: fanfan; flattorney; bigjoesaddle; FryingPan101; AnimalLover; backtothestreets; Olephart; ...


If you want on, or off this S. Texas/Mexico ping list, please FReepMail me.

2 posted on 12/03/2007 3:58:55 PM PST by SwinneySwitch (US Constitution Article 4 Section 4..shall protect each of them against Invasion...domestic Violence)
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To: SwinneySwitch

How is it she was in a foreign country making business/scam deals and couldn’t speak the language?

No wonder she’s in prison.

3 posted on 12/04/2007 3:57:26 AM PST by wolfcreek (The Status Quo Sucks!)
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To: wolfcreek

Do a little research. Brenda worked as a cook and was not in a foreign country scamming anyone. The year she was arrested she had helped raise 36,000 for orphans and regularly fed the children who live at the dump. She’s no Mother Teresa, but when she got fired and was given her severence how would she know the money was dirty? This guy sucked in 16,000 people...out of 60 million dollars!
She’s an innocent Canadian in a Mexican jail and the government has done nothing for her...not even ensuring that she knew what the charges were or had documents translatted to English. Let’s get real,’s hard enough to know what’s going on in Canadian trials and we speak the language fluently. This could literally happen to anyone ....and has!! Too bad everyone wouldn’t take a couple of minutes and email the Foreign Affairs department and the Mexican consulate in a 50 year old woman who’s done nothing wrong and doesn’t own a car, a house or a savings account.

4 posted on 12/04/2007 6:12:07 PM PST by DebraT
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To: SwinneySwitch
I think its fantastic that help is actually in progress.
Realizing that the Canadian government is actually useless.
After spending two and a half years in the same situation as Brenda I totally understand personally the things she is suffering from. please view my web page and view the video Free Brenda Martin on you tube.
Good luck Brenda were with you all the way to the end.
Peter Kimber
5 posted on 12/05/2007 10:28:26 AM PST by peter kimber
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