Brazil takes back offer to jailed Canadians
Two Canadians serving time for kidnapping in Brazil may have lost their chance to return home. Brazil says their hunger strike violates what it considers good behaviour.
Brazil had offered to sign a treaty that would allow David Spencer of Moncton, New Brunswick and Christine Lamont of Langley, British Columbia to return to Canada.
The offer would have allowed them to serve the rest of their 28-year sentences at home. But the two Canadians refused and started a hunger strike to push for an unconditional release.
Lamont and Spencer have served eight years of the sentence. They say they're political prisoners and want the government of Brazil to expel them. That means they would be sent home and not have criminal records in Canada.
Foreign Affairs Minister Lloyd Axworthy says he's surprised that Lamont and Spencer rejected Brazil's offer. He says they could actually have been paroled within weeks of their return.
The two Canadians were jailed along with five Chileans, two Argentines and one Brazilian for kidnapping Albino Diniz in 1989. He's the owner of a Brazilian supermarket chain.
During their trial, the kidnappers were presented as a group of radical leftists who wanted to ease the living conditions of the poor in Latin America.
They demanded a $1 million ransom for Diniz, who was held for six days before police found where he had been hidden.