Bronwyn shares her story in her own words in this blog page on the Sunday Night TV program’s website.
On the death of her son:
He died one week before he turned three years old. I walked into the room and he looked like a porcelain doll. Like ‘is this a joke? Is this a doll? What the hell is going on. This isn’t even real. How can this be real? He’s so beautiful, this isn’t even him’.
On being tested for HIV:
They tested me for malaria because I had just been in Mozambique and they gave me some medicines and said to come back when my results were ready. I went back and they told my I’d had malaria but that it was now gone. I said to the woman, ‘What the hell is wrong with me, man? I’m dying of this fever, something’s wrong with me.’ She told me I should be tested for HIV. As soon as she said it, it was like I knew. I knew that I had it. I went to get tested and I knew. Every step I was taking it was, ‘If you do this, you cannot turn back. But you need to know. You need to know’.
On being setup at the airport:
He said it was supposed to be nine to 12 kilos of cocaine. … I didn’t see the bag until I got dropped off at the airport. The taxi man – everyone’s in on it – opened up the boot and I saw this huge bag. At the airport, so I couldn’t make a scene.
As soon as I saw that bag I just thought straight away, ‘This bag’s full of cocaine’. …
He put it on the trolley so I never felt the weight. When time came to put it on the scales, I couldn’t even pick it up. 48 kilos, the bag weighed. They set me up.
See Bronwyn’s story for more.
Sunday Night have posted a gallery of 19 photos from their story on Bronwyn Atherton’s life in jail at their website.
Sunday Night have posted a summary of their TV story on Bronwyn Atherton as “Australia’s unknown Shapelle“. Thank you to the Sunday Night team for bringing attention to Bronwyn’s case, and finding Bronwyn a good lawyer.
Mary, a U.S. citizen living in Peru, visits Bronwyn Atherton in prison, bringing essentials, ferrying letters & printed emails so Bronwyn can stay in touch with the world, and helps Bronwyn in many other ways. Mary, thank you so much for helping Bronwyn!
Mary talks about the jail, the lives of the women there, and what happens afterwards in this article.
Want to support Bronwyn? Find out four ways to support Bronwyn.
Bronwyn Atherton is in Santa Monica Jail in Lima, Peru. Here’s an article about the jail in the Chicago Tribune: Peru Prison ‘Nightmare In Hell’ For Illinois Teen. The article is from 1997. Apparently the Peruvian government spends 60 cents a day on prisoners’ food.
Mick O’Donnell wrote, a producer from Channel Seven’s Sunday Night program, wrote this yesterday on the Support Bronwyn Atherton page on Facebook:
Hello friends of Bronwyn. A group of us from Seven’s Sunday Night met Bronwyn a couple of months ago in Lima. She is the inspiration of the Santa Monica prison. She accepts that she did foolish things. But now she is the light of that place.
Bronwyn Atherton, known to her friends as “Freedom”, is a young Australian woman serving a 14-year-sentence in the Santa Monica women’s prison in Lima, Peru.
Bronwyn Kay Atherton was arrested in 2008 for attempting to carry cocaine through the Lima airport.
Her lengthy sentence and HIV-AIDS positive status, as well as other health problems, mean she is suffering a great deal in prison. Despite this, she is an inspiration to many other women there, filling the space with her bright and happy murals and offering support to others in despair.
Bronwyn accepts what she did was wrong, and wants her story to serve as a warning to others:
I went through the most full-on trip in under a year. My son had died. I got raped. I got raped a couple of times in Africa as well. And I found out I had HIV. In under the space of a year. That’s the most full on stuff that can happen to you. Of course I could easily make the worst decision of my life.
Supporters of Bronwyn in Australia and Peru are working towards her early release. Her family and friends have struggled to fund ongoing medical and legal costs. While she has regular AIDS medication at present this is not as reliable or as appropriate as she would receive if she were home in Australia.
Find out four ways to support Bronwyn.