Mary Jane Veloso
Born: Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija, Philippines
Mary Jane Veloso is a mother of a 2 sons and a worker who was illegally recruited to work in Malaysia as a domestic worker, but was rerouted to work in Indonesia. She was tricked into carrying 2.6 kilos of heroin by a close relative who was also the labor trafficker in exchange for a false promise of a job. In April 2015, she was tried and placed on death row in Indonesia. Indonesian President Joko Widodo was criticized by the UN for not providing clemency, especially based on the report of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights that suggest that Veloso and her 14 other fellow accused were convicted after unfair trials. The same report attested that all of them did not receive sufficient legal services or the right to translators, and had no legal representation at all stages of their trials. Her Philippine counsel, the National Union of Peoples' Lawyers, joined Mary Jane in Indonesia and filed a second appeal to urge the Indonesian courts to recognize her as a victim of labor trafficking.
As Mary Jane’s life hung in the balance, the rally cries and demand from Filipinos and supporters from all over the world, seeking justice and due process from the Indonesia Government, were heard. Mary Jane’s life was spared, at the 11th hour, and her trial was held in abeyance. We also acknowledge that the Philippine government is ultimately responsible for the dire societal conditions in the country, such as poverty, hunger, and joblessness, that force over 6000 Filipinos to leave the country daily to work abroad. In addition, the Aquino government is responsible for Mary Jane's death sentence in 2010 by failing to provide her with competent legal counsel and Tagalog translation during her trial, failing to pursue an investigation of Mary Jane's trafficker even when requested to do so by Mary Jane's Indonesian lawyers years ago.