A Canadian woman who suffered serious injuries from a shooting in San Luis Potosí says she received little help from either the Mexican or Canadian governments to get back home.
Hiba Sheikh, of Surrey, British Columbia, was visiting a friend in the central Mexican city when disaster struck at dinner.
“We were sitting and eating and talking [on the balcony], and all of a sudden I hear a big bang, like fireworks sounds,” she told broadcaster Global News.
“When I looked to my right, I saw two guys [on the main floor] firing up in the air, and I was in complete trauma and shock.”
Sheikh, 31, fell to the floor and saw “blood everywhere.” Then she looked at her leg and realized she had been shot.
“It was covered in blood, my dress was drenched in blood, and I was almost passing out,” she said. “I just remember people saying there were two guys shooting outside.”
Bystanders attended to Sheikh’s wounds and kept her conscious while they waited for paramedics to arrive and transport her to hospital.
Sheikh said the bullet pierced through the balcony and hit her in the ankle. It shattered several bones as it passed through the other side of her leg.
There were no other injuries or deaths during the incident. Local police and the state Attorney General’s Office are investigating but no suspects have been identified or detained.
Sheikh said she was primarily worried about getting back home on her flight scheduled for the next day, but she got little assistance from either the Mexican government or her own. She said that Global Affairs Canada did nothing beyond making a phone call.
“They just informed my parents, and that was it,” she said. “I had to travel back on my own and figure that out on my own. The expenses I had to cover on my own.”
San Luis Potosí Governor Juan Manuel Carreras promised Sheikh that the government would cover her travel and medical expenses, she said, but the promise was not kept. She ended up flying back to Canada at her own expense two days after the shooting.
After receiving no help and seeing no justice in the case, Sheikh feels discouraged.
“The guy’s running free and I want justice, because he owes me big time,” she said. “This is not a joke.”
Currently bedridden at home, Sheikh said it could take six to seven months for her ankle to heal and for her to be able to walk freely again.
When she is able to walk, Mexico is one country she’ll never set foot in again.
“I don’t ever want to go back to that country,” she said. “It’s a matter of safety.”
Source: Global News (en)