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

  • Four officers who responded to U.S. Capitol attack have died by suicide

    World News CTV News
    The District of Columbia's police department on Monday said two more police officers who responded to the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol have died by suicide, bringing to four the number of known suicides by officers who guarded the building that day. Source
  • U.S. hits 70 per cent vaccination rate -- a month late, amid a surge

    World News CTV News
    The U.S. on Monday finally reached President Joe Biden's goal of getting at least one COVID-19 shot into 70 per cent of American adults -- a month late and amid a fierce surge by the delta variant that is swamping hospitals and leading to new mask rules and mandatory vaccinations around the country. Source
  • China flooding deaths triple to more than 300 after officials revise toll

    World News CBC News
    More than 300 people died in recent flooding in central China, authorities said Monday, three times the previously announced toll. The Henan provincial government said 302 people died and 50 remain missing. The vast majority of the victims were in Zhengzhou, the provincial capital, where 292 died and 47 are missing. Source
  • Woman fatally mauled by bear in northern Alberta

    Canada News CTV News
    EDMONTON -- Mounties say a female tree planter has been mauled to death by a bear in northern Alberta. RCMP told CTV News they received a call just after 3 p.m. on July 31 regarding an attack in a rural area northwest of Swan Hills. Source
  • Family of Black man fatally shot by police in Repentigny, Que., blame racism for his death

    Canada News CBC News
    The family of a Repentigny, Que., man who died after police shot him three times in the stomach on Sunday are blaming anti-Black racism in the city's police force for his death and are demanding justice. Marie-Mireille Bence, the mother of the victim, called police Sunday morning asking them to bring her son, Jean René Junior Olivier, 37, to the hospital because he was having a mental health issue. Source
  • Calgary woman felt 'humiliated' by Alberta sheriffs during a traffic stop

    Canada News CTV News
    CALGARY -- KumKum Roychowdhury says she was driving home to Calgary from her nephew's home in Airdrie, Atla., when she was pulled over by Alberta sheriffs and asked to take a breathalyzer. When she struggled to provide a proper sample after 17 attempts, she said that's when officers told her to remove part of her cultural outfit and open her clothing, an idea she was "insulted" by. Source
  • Calgary woman says she felt 'humiliated' by Alberta sheriffs during a traffic stop

    Canada News CTV News
    CALGARY -- KumKum Roychowdhury says she was driving home to Calgary from her nephew's home in Airdrie, Atla., when she was pulled over by Alberta sheriffs and asked to take a breathalyzer. When she struggled to provide a proper sample after 17 attempts, she said that's when officers told her to remove part of her cultural outfit and open her clothing, an idea she was "insulted" by. Source
  • Sixties Scoop survivors call for federal inquiry and apology

    Canada News CBC News
    WARNING: This story contains distressing details. Former Canadian senator Murray Sinclair and a group representing survivors of the Sixties Scoop are calling for a federal inquiry into the actions and policies of governments that led to thousands of Indigenous children being taken from their homes over four decades and placed with non-Indigenous families. Source
  • FBI used 'provocative photos' of female office staff to catch sexual predators, watchdog says

    World News CTV News
    FBI agents posted provocative photos of female coworkers online without formal authorization as part of sting operations against sex trafficking, according to a new watchdog report. The Justice Department's inspector general said in a report released Monday that some FBI agents "sometimes used photographs of young female support staff employees to pose as minor children or sex workers to entice sexual predators on various social media websites. Source
  • German court sets trial date for former Nazi guard, aged 100

    World News CTV News
    BERLIN -- A German court has set a trial date for a 100-year-old man who is charged with 3,518 counts of accessory to murder on allegations he served as a Nazi SS guard at a concentration camp on the outskirts of Berlin during World War II. Source