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Mum moves to Senegal to fight for daughter's release from jail
thinkSPAIN , Sunday, April 24, 2011

A 27-YEAR-OLD Spanish girl has been released after nearly two years in a Senegalese prison after her new boyfriend planted drugs in her suitcase.

In the meantime, her mother had moved house and is now living in Dakar, the capital, where she has been since her daughter's arrest in order to help free her.

Virginia R.E., from Salamanca, was travelling to Brazil on holiday with her boyfriend of six months, a man from Mallorca, at the beginning of July 2009.

The man wanted them to take a pit-stop in Dakar as he disliked long-haul flights.

But customs officers found drugs in Virginia's case, which she had never seen before and certainly did not remember packing.

The three kilos of cocaine had been planted there by her boyfriend and a friend of his from Nigeria, both of whom were arrested and are facing 10 years in jail in Senegal.

In the meantime, Isabel Estévez moved to Senegal last summer to 'fight' and 'speed up' the steps being taken to get her daughter released.

Thanks to negotiations by the Spanish Embassy, Isabel was able to visit her daughter in jail every day, something not usually permitted in Senegalese prisons, which Isabel says are 'not like jails in Spain'.

She says she is 'tremendously proud' of her daughter for remaining strong throughout the ordeal, and said that neither of them could complain about the 'fabulous' treatment she received whilst her case was being tried.

Now, her daughter is back home with her in Salamanca after 22 months behind bars.

When asked how she coped with her 10 months living in Senegal in order to be near her daughter, Isabel said, “for your child, you'll go through anything.”

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