Ibiza, Peru & 11kg of Cocaine

18135Unless you’ve been living a hole for the last week, you can’t fail to have noticed the media coverage of the two British girls, Michaella McCollum and Melissa Reid, who are currently in a police holding cell in Peru awaiting charges for allegedly attemping to smuggle cocaine out of the country.

The girls claim that they were forced at gunpoint to fly to Peru to be drug mules which, if I’m honest, sounds a little far-fetched to me – I mean, surely, for example, at airport security (where it’s highly unlikely anybody could be pointing a gun at them), they could have raised the alarm or asked for help.

Further reporting yesterday suggested that they were flown first class to Peru, and photographs have now been published of them smiling and looking to all intents and purposes like two young women having a great holiday whilst they were there. Again, they say they were forced to have these photos taken.  A taxi driver has also come forward and talked about driving them around Lima on a huge shopping spree, and said they spent thousands of dollars.  (Again, how true any of this is, who knows?)

In all likelihood, apparently, they will be charged with drug smuggling later today, and the case will then go to trial, where a prison sentence of approximately 9 years is likely to be imposed.

The BBC News reported on Sunday from inside the prison in Peru where the women are likely to serve their sentences, which was quite modern, not overcrowded and very clean, and interviewed a couple of European women already in there for drug smuggling.  They weren’t having the time of their lives, it would be safe to say.

Video footage was released last week of Michaella and Melissa eating cake, smiling and chatting to reporters from inside the police station where they are currently being held.  They seemed remarkably lighthearted, given the circumstances.

At the very least, if not guilty of drug trafficking, these girls are guilty of gross bloody stupidity.  And I struggle to have much sympathy with them.

But I feel absolutely devastated for their poor parents.  Can you IMAGINE thinking your daughter is having a great summer working in a bar in Ibiza and then a reporter knocks on your door and tells you she’s being held in Peru on suspicion of trafficking cocaine, and looking at a potential 25 year prison sentence?

I mean, it would ruin your life, wouldn’t it?  Totally.  I can’t even begin to conceive of the horror, helplessness and terror these poor people are suffering, through no fault of their own.

And that’s why my thoughts and sympathies are mostly with those four parents, as the charges are prepared to be laid today, and not with their daughters.


7 thoughts on “Ibiza, Peru & 11kg of Cocaine

  1. I feel the same as you but would have felt warning bells just “working in the bars in Ibizia”. A more horrendous case in my eyes is the girl who was travelling in Indonesia and bought legitimately a bottle of gin which was pure home made spirit which killed her. Because tax is 200% in Indonesia there is a flourishing trade in this. When we were in Singapore on a stop over we couldn´t believe how expensive alcohol was. The warning now going out to backpackers is stick to beer.

  2. I couldn’t agree with your more… I’m still at 34 scared to visit places like Thailand etc after watching Bangkok Hilton with my mum when I was chid (possible a clever parenting move on my mothers part!) because some people can be naive but I am highly suspicious that these girls are. As you say worst case it’s stupidity and not acknowledging the possible repercusions of their actions!


  3. Yes things are different now, youngsters want everything now and many people live beyond their means. I agree with you Caroline, it all sounds very iffy to me. Their poor parents! ‘Poor’ being the operative word after they’ve paid for their daughters’ legal costs.

  4. When I read about this I also thought it a bit iffy. They really weren’t around when they were handing out the brain cells.

    I too feel for their parents. I hope my own kids never do something as stupid as that. Then again they’ve been brought up to be a bit more savvy.

  5. I agree Caroline,something just doesn’t add up, they seem to be in high spirits, do you think that they think they are going to be believed and walk free? I said the same about the airport, I would think there would be security anywhere and I would do my best to inform them, I think they made a stupid decision and now they have to pay for it, I feel for their families, how life destroying.

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