Michaella McCollum, the drug mule from Co Tyrone released from prison in Peru last week, has insisted she is a good person who who “didn’t understand the consequences of a bad decision”.
In an interview in Peru last night, she did acknowledge the damage the drugs could have on others. However, she also revealed the impact of her action on her own life.
McCollum and Melissa Reid, from Scotland, were imprisoned in 2013 for six years and eight months after admitting trying to smuggle cocaine worth £1.5m from Peru to Spain. McCollum was freed on parole last Thursday after serving more than two years. It is anticipated she will have to remain in Peru for a considerable period as part of her parole conditions.
Last night, she acknowledged the potentially devastating consequences if she had successfully smuggled the drugs back to Europe.
“I potentially could have filled Europe full of a lot of drugs,” she said. “I could have potentially killed a lot of people, not directly, but I could have caused a lot of harm to people.”
However, she also called herself naive, adding: “I didn’t understand the consequences of a bad decision. I didn’t understand exactly what I was doing. I was very naive.”
McCollum claims she was targeted by the drug gang.
“I am 100% sure they knew I was alone and vulnerable because during the whole experience I was freaking out a lot and unsure of everything and they were kind of putting a little bit more work on me,” she said.
She also revealed the fear she felt the night they were to leave Peru with the drugs.
“I was too scared to walk away,” she said. “I was worried if I walked away what was going to happen to me.”
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