Bringing Brenda home
Tom Martin sat in his Surrey home yesterday looking at newspaperclippings about his daughter Brenda, convicted by a Mexican judge in amoney-laundering case, when the phone rang.
Tom Martin sat in his Surrey home yesterday looking at newspaper clippings about his daughter Brenda, convicted by a Mexican judge in a money-laundering case, when the phone rang.
“It’s Brenda,” his other daughter called from the top of the stairs.
“This whole thing’s been a circus,” said the 72-year-old before he answered the phone. “I haven’t had much time to wallow in pity or anything.”
Yesterday, Brenda called Tom seven times — each call lasting two minutes — looking for support. The two spent nearly 50 years apart.
Mexican authorities say Brenda participated in a $60-million Internet scam masterminded by her former boss, Alyn Waage — a charge she denies.
She was sentenced to five years in jail on Tuesday and told to pay a $3,800 fine.
“Whatever it takes, Brenda. Just get the hell out of there, honey,” he told her yesterday.
Tom separated from Brenda’s mother, Marjorie, at a young age and never saw his daughter again.
Three weeks ago, Tom read in a newspaper about a 51-year-old Brenda Martin imprisoned in Guadalajara. A few e-mail exchanges confirmed it was his daughter and the two reunited over the phone.
Brenda’s case has generated outrage Canada-wide and Secretary of State for Multiculturalism Jason Kenney is scheduled to arrive in Guadalajara today in an attempt to hasten her return under a prisoner-transfer program.
Tom said he hopes to see his daughter in person.
“She realizes the bizarreness that if she hadn’t been in prison, I might not have found her,” said Tom. “We told her, ‘You go back to Ontario, spend some time recuperating,’ and then we’re going to fly her out here to meet her family.”