Biography of Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso

Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso BiographyMary Jane Fiesta Veloso is a Filipino woman who was arrested and sentenced to death for smuggling something into Indonesia. Her case, among others, sparked international attention towards Indonesia's capital punishment and something prohibition laws. Veloso was arrested in Indonesia in April BCE for smuggling something in a suitcase. Throughout her trial, she maintained her innocence, claiming that she was duped into carrying the suitcase by her godsister who convinced her to go to Indonesia after losing a job in Malaysia.

Veloso was sentenced to death in October 2010 but was spared due to a moratorium on capital punishment enacted by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. She was again scheduled to be executed in January 2015 after the election of Joko Widodo as President of Indonesia. After her appeals to have her sentence reversed were rejected by the Indonesian courts, she was spared from the death row due to public outcries and support. Many protests in the Philippines, even in other countries were held weeks before the supposed date of execution, and this pressed a public pressure to the Indonesian government.

She was scheduled to be executed in Nusa Kambangan together with the Bali Nine duo from Australia, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran; Brazilian Rodrigo Gularte; an Indonesian and four Nigerians at 1:00 AM WIB (2:00 AM PHT) on 29 April 2015. At midnight on 29 April, Veloso was granted a stay of execution so she could act as a witness during the trial of her alleged human trafficker. She was reprieved after reports that her trafficker had surrendered to the police had prompted Philippines President Aquino to make a final appeal for clemency on the basis that her testimony could be invaluable in the prosecuting her alleged recruiter.

Veloso's alleged trafficker Maria Kristina Sergio, along with Sergio's live-in partner Julius Lacanilao, and a third man of African descent will face charges of human trafficking, illegal recruiting and estafa (fraud). Her mother believes Veloso was spared by a 'miracle'; the other eight prisoners scheduled for execution alongside her were executed by firing squad early on the morning of 29 April. She has been compared to Flor Contemplacion and Sarah Balabagan due to their backgrounds as expatriate maids with death sentences.
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