More from Brad Hunter
April 14, 2018
April 14, 2018 4:16 PM EDT
Deidre Rankin, also known as Gia Rogers.Supplied photo
Fern Rankin tells the Toronto Sun’s Brad Hunter in her own words the nightmare her daughter Deidre, 33, has experienced. First, she was set up in a drug conspiracy in Peru, jailed, then released after several years for good behaviour. But Canadian bureaucrats at the embassy have stymied her efforts to get a passport and return home to Cobourg, Ont.. Now, time is of the essence. Deidre was severely injured in a car accident and nearly died. She is in a Peruvian hospital with two broken legs and lucky to be alive.
“It wasn’t the kind of news any mother wants to hear.
The caller was a girlfriend of my daughter Deidre. She had been arrested in Peru.
‘Oh no, that’s just shocking,’ I thought.
My first response was: ‘Was she set up?’ I was just grateful she was alive. I knew there had to be more to it than met the eye — and there was.
Deidre Rankin, also known as Gia Rogers.
She had gone to Peru with a ‘friend’ she should not have trusted. Deidre takes responsibility but feels foolish for trusting this person. She feels used.
Neither of them mentioned anything about smuggling drugs.
‘Deidre’s been arrested…and she’s been convicted of trying to smuggle 50 kg of cocaine on a flight from Peru,’ er friend told me.
But if prison was tough, it was nothing compared to dealing with the Canadian embassy in Lima.
One of the women who tricked Deidre into the drug smuggling got out of the country and so they took my daughter’s passport. The embassy claimed she was a flight risk and then destroyed her passport in Ottawa.
I’m not sure how someone can be a flight risk when they’re in jail.
Deidre Rankin, also known as Gia Rogers, as a young girl with her mom, Fern Rankin.
At the time she went on the trip, she was getting out of an abusive relationship and was attacked by the father of her youngest child.
‘I wasn’t in the right mindset,’ she told me. ‘I just knew I had to get out of there. Mom, I’m going to leave the country. I’m afraid he’s going to kill me…I’m in constant fear of my life.’
There wasn’t a day that went by when I wasn’t worried sick about her in that prison so far away.
She was sentenced to nine years but they let her out after two years and a bit for good behaviour. She handled it well and grew.
But when she was released, she didn’t have any ID. And the Canadian embassy wouldn’t reissue her passport or give her travel documents.
Deidre Rankin, also known as Gia Rogers.
Right now, the Canadian embassy is I suppose still wiping egg off its face for messing up with the co-conspirator who fled the country and my daughter is paying the price.
They have zero compassion. They are robotic with their answers. They simply do not care. These people have stripped her of her rights.
She has modelled, done promotion and sang in a band in Peru to put food on the table, but without ID it’s become impossible.
Whatever happened to a ‘Canadian is a Canadian’?
The scene of the crash in Peru that nearly killed Deidre Rankin, also known as Gia Rogers.
Now, this is a matter of life and death.
If I thought Deidre getting arrested was horrible I was in for more bad news.
On Feb. 24, she was in a terrible car accident. It took them an hour using the jaws of life just to cut her out and her legs were trapped in the metal framing of the car.
She was drenched in blood and needed five transfusions and then went into a fever.
Deidre Rankin in her hospital bed.
At the hospital, she was initially refused attention because she didn’t have insurance so for six hours they didn’t clean her injuries. And they are now refusing her medication.
But the embassy claims they’ll only process her once they get the go-ahead from Peru.
It’s an unbelievable amount of red tape…she’s severely injured in the hospital and they want her to get passport photos!
Deidre Rankin suffered two broken legs in the car wreck that nearly killed her in Peru.
Of course, if the embassy bureaucrats had done their job, she would be fine…they’ve been terribly judgemental.
It’s so ironic that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is visiting Peru right now.
If I could, I would ask him: ‘If it were your daughter Grace, how would you want her to be treated?’
‘Is Deidre any less Canadian than your daughter, or say, Omar Khadr? You are torturing her now both mentally and physically. How does that feel?’”
— AS TOLD TO BRAD HUNTER
MOM’S NIGHTMARE: ‘I’d ask Trudeau if my daughter is any less Canadian than yours?’ | Toronto Sun