Son demands government help after Manitoba man dies in Mexican prison

The family of a Manitoba man who died in Mexico while serving a prison sentence in the country is asking the Canadian government for help dealing with the situation.

See Full Article

Bruce Vigfusson died in a hospital on Monday in the northwestern Mexican city of Hermosillo, but his family only learned of his passing through a phone call from a prison inmate.

"We were actually the ones to tell the embassy that he passed away. Something is out of line there," Vigfusson's son, Colt, told The Canadian Press on Wednesday. "It's very stressful that there's not a Canadian helping us. This guy was born in Canada, raised in Canada and our Canadian government can't help him?"

Bruce Vigfusson was working in the mining industry in Mexico before his arrest in September 2012.

He was charged with assault -- and later convicted -- following a home invasion in which he allegedly attacked a thief, his son said.

During the home invasion, Vigfusson's son said his father wrestled a crowbar out of a thief's hand and used it on the home invader.

"These Mexicans fled out saying they'd been beat so then he got charged with assault," his son said. "All of our family has been sending him money in the last three years in that prison to keep him alive."

Vigfusson's son last heard from his father on Saturday, when he left him a voicemail saying he was ailing.

"He could hardly talk," he said. "He just said 'I'm really sick Colt."'

On Tuesday, an inmate who knew Vigfusson called the family and said the 45-year-old was dead, his son said.

Officials in Ottawa later told the family Vigfusson died from "a blood clot in the lung or a heart attack," his son said.

Vigfusson's son wants to bring his father's body back to Canada as soon as possible, but said he's not getting enough assistance from the federal government on the matter.

After speaking repeatedly with an official in Ottawa, he said he was told he had to go to Mexico to identify his father's body before it can be released.

"All he said was this is the first time a Canadian has died in a Mexican prison and they don't know how to handle it," Vigfusson's son said. "To get him to a morgue and then back to Canada is going to be $6,000."

Vigfusson's son asked for a guarantee from the Canadian consulate in Mexico that he would be afforded some "protection" if he travelled to the prison, but was told that wouldn't be possible.

"This is awful," he said of the family's situation. "It would be nice to see if someone could step up to the plate immediately to provide the protection to get down there or to help us financially or what step to take because I'd like to get this body back home to Canada immediately."

A spokesman with Global Affairs Canada said Canadian consular officials in Mexico are in contact with local authorities and are providing consular assistance to Vigfusson's family.

"Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the Canadian Citizen who passed away in Mexico," said Francois Lasalle.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Bangladesh confirms 1st death of Rohingya from coronavirus

    World News CTV News
    DHAKA, BANGLADESH -- Authorities in Bangladesh have confirmed the first death of a Rohingya refugee from the coronavirus, as infections rise in sprawling camps where more than 1 million Rohingya Muslims have been living since fleeing from neighbouring Myanmar. Source
  • Black and Asian people in England more likely to die from COVID-19, public health report says

    World News CBC News
    Black and Asian people in England are up to 50 per cent more likely to die after being infected with COVID-19, an official study said Tuesday, reinforcing previous reports that indicated ethnic minority groups were more at risk from the virus. Source
  • Biden to hit Trump as more focused on 'power than principle'

    World News CTV News
    PHILADELPHIA -- Joe Biden plans to blister U.S. President Donald Trump for directing authorities to drive back peaceful protesters outside the White House "in order to stage a photo op," saying Tuesday that the commander in chief "is more interested in power than in principle. Source
  • Austria to redesign Hitler's birthplace as police station

    World News CTV News
    VIENNA -- Austrian authorities have presented the winning plan to redesign the house where Adolf Hitler was born in 1889, turning it into a police station and trying to make it unattractive as a pilgrimage site for people who glorify the Nazi dictator. Source
  • What is Antifa?

    World News CTV News
    As protests over George Floyd's death spread across the country, officials have blamed the violent nature of some demonstrations on members of a controversial group known as Antifa. U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday said the United States would designate Antifa a terrorist organization, though the federal government has no legal authority to label a wholly domestic group the way it designates foreign terrorist organizations. Source
  • CRA snitch line now open to report fraudulent CERB claims

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Canadians can now report suspected fraudulent CERB recipients through the Canada Revenue Agency's official snitch line. The service's “Leads Program” updated its website this week to include the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) and the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) funds to its list of reportable cheating activities. Source
  • U of T valedictorian hopes to inspire future black doctors

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- A University of Toronto student is making history Tuesday as the first black woman to give the Faculty of Medicine’s valedictorian speech, and the first woman to do so in 14 years. Chika Oriuwa, the child of Nigerian immigrants, always knew she wanted to be a physician but didn’t have many examples to look up to. Source
  • Coronavirus: Here's what's happening around the world on Tuesday

    World News CBC News
    The latest:Africa's coronavirus cases have surpassed 150,000, Zimbabwe confirms first virus cases in prisons.WHO says cases rising in Russia and eastern Europe, Berlin health official criticizes club gathering.Health experts worry South America's reopening and U.S. protests could spread virus. Source
  • Young driver flips new car after allegedly going 221 km/hr: OPP

    Canada News CTV News
    KITCHENER -- Shortly after picking up his new car, a young driver was clocked travelling over 220 km/hr before rolling the vehicle and fleeing on foot, Ontario police say. Ontario Provincial Police say that officers first spotted the car going 221km/hr. Source
  • Several cadets brought back for graduation at West Point test positive for COVID-19

    World News CTV News
    About 15 cadets from the U.S. Military Academy Class of 2020 who were brought back for graduation where President Donald Trump is scheduled to give the commencement address have tested positive for coronavirus, according to a U.S. Source