According to the Canadian news website http://winnipeg.ctvnews.ca; a Manitoba man serving a jail sentence in a Mexican prison has died, according to his family and Canada’s federal department of Global Affairs.
Bruce Vigfusson, 45, died in hospital on Monday in the northern city of Hermosillo in the Mexican state of Sonora.
Vigfusson’s son, Colt, who lives in Manitoba’s Interlake region said he learned of the death after being contacted by an inmate serving time at the same prison as his father.
“I just had a little boy and he’s just turning five months and now he’ll never get a chance to meet his grandpa,” said Colt Vigfusson.
According to an initial report into the cause of death given to Colt, his father died of pulmonary edema(a condition caused by excess fluid in the lungs) and cardiomyopathy(a condition where the heart muscle is abnormal).
Vigfusson had been serving a four-and-a-half year sentence in Hermosillo for an assault stemming from a crime his family said was committed in self-defence.
Vigfusson told CTV News one year ago that his home was invaded in August 2012 while his family and children were inside.
“Four street thugs came up to the house and one pulled out a tire iron and one pulled out a hammer and they attacked,” Bruce Vigfusson told CTV over the phone from prison in Hermosillo, Mexico last December.
Family members said Vigfusson was sentenced for attacking one of the invaders.
Prior to his conviction, Vigfusson had been working in Mexico’s mining industry.
Colt Vigfusson said his father’s case was still before the courts for an appeal but that the appeal was pushed back until after the New Year.
He said his father had been suffering from an infection in prison and had been receiving injections for it.
Colt said he received a copy of a letter recently written to him by his dad.
“Colt, sorry I’m feeling very bad,” Bruce wrote. “I’m very sick, I can’t breathe.”
Colt said he’s been told his family will have to pay $6,000 and that a member of the family must travel to Mexico to identify his dad’s body before his remains can be brought back to Canada.
It’s a task that seems daunting for the family, Colt said he feels nervous about visiting Mexico without “protection” considering what his dad’s been through.
“One of us is going to have to go to Mexico to figure this out,” said Colt. “We’ve got to move fast.”
Colt said he’s been disappointed with the Canadian government’s response to the family’s request for assistance.
“No one even contacted me to tell me that my dad passed away,” said Colt.
A spokesperson for Global Affairs Canada said Tuesday night Canadian consular officials in Mexico are in contact with local authorities and are providing consular assistance to the family.
Despite his father’s death, Colt said he wants the court case in Mexico to continue.
Referring to the letter his dad wrote, Colt said that’s what his father would want him to do.
“In this letter… he knows he’s not guilty,” said Colt. “(He) wants his son to continue the court case to show that he’s a free man.”
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