This movie depicts the true 1997 story of the anti-American injustices and backwards legal system experienced by 53 yr old "Anti-Drug" Sandra Chase (played by Barbara Hershey), who was held without trial or due process for nearly two years even while terminally ill in an Equadoran Prison (in Quito). Although claiming complete innocence, In real life, Sandra Chase (one of many) experienced beatings by other inmates, deplorable inhuman stench conditions, where prisoners are forced to defecate in the hallways (no toilets in overcrowded small cemented cells), where prison guards who take bribes and payoffs repeatedly brutally rape, beat and mentally abuse American prisoners. To make matters worse, Sandra Chase was denied medical treatment for her scelroderma, a fatal rare disease that attacks the skin and organs and was eventually thrown into a dungeon like atmosphere without food or clean water for 5 days, and when fed, barely surviving on chicken parts and vegetables (not depicted in the movie). "My bible was the only thing they didn't steal," Chase said, "That's the only thing that kept me going".
There are scores of other Americans being held in Ecuadoran prisons. Since Rep. Brown's intervention, over 800 prisoners have been released and more than 2,000 are slated to be set free. Still, the backlog of cases creates a system where the innocent are punished more harshly than the guilty and families are incarcerated for a crime of one member. A Typical Situation, Rep. Brown said the Chase case is typical of many of the estimated 58 Americans being kept in deplorable conditions in Ecuadorian prisons.
After watching the movie, I became outraged that so much bias and anti-American prejudice actually exists in such barbaric conditions by the Equadoran unjust and backwards legal system, not to mention, the high degree of danger of possible false arrest during your stay, for anything that would warrant an excuse to throw innocent U.S. victims into hellish prison conditions. Even if guilty, the punishment of such inhuman conditions hardly fits the crime, where you will be instantly treated as guilty before having any chance of proved innocent. To make matters worse, never knowing how many years before you even get a trial (with the possibilities of ending up with one of their non English, Spanish speaking lawyers}, You'll never know!
Question I'm asking myself is, How many Americans or non So. American citizens have died in this countries stench overcrowded prisons?
I gave this movie 10 out of 10 for it's descriptive warning like effect as a "Wake Up Call" for those who may have otherwise felt safe traveling abroad in drug trafficking 3rd world countries. No spoilers for the movie were used, other than my brief explanation of the true events. Point being, before traveling anywhere outside the U.S., It would be very wise to educate yourselves before leaving U.S. American soil and know what you are truly up against. Why take chances!
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