10 Years of Blog Archive

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Left to Die in a Quito Ecuador Woman's Prison

What would you do if you were left to die in a South American prison for something you didn't do? This is a true story prison movie that will get you thinking next time you travel to South America. 
Quito, Ecuador Airport
She was a career woman and a 50’s something mother who never adventured out of the United States. Her adventure was probably dining out in a swanky restaurant or going ocean sailing on a Saturday with friends. On a whim in 2012 she decided to go to Quito, Ecuador with an ex boyfriend she didn’t know very well (red flag?), and so off she flew leaving behind her career and two grown children in Miami, Florida.

What she didn’t know was that she was heading into the worst ever real life nightmare of her life, because she was falsely imprisoned on drug charges in a South American prison. Her repeated innocence protestation fell on the deaf ears of the Quito drug authorities after they allegedly found  large packets of drugs (heroin or cocaine) in her luggage when leaving Ecuador for the states.  She had no history of drug issues.   She spent 22 months in this bad-place and almost died. I don’t want to tell you too much as it will spoil the movie for the viewers.

The conditions were horrific in the prison (at least in the movie) and many disgusting and terrible things happened to this innocent woman as she literally lay dying in a Quito prison called El Inca just outside of Quito. Her daughter didn’t give up trying to get her mother out of there. Very moving and touching story.

Frank and I just watched this movie, starring Barbara Hershey.  We thought it was going to be another “chewing gum for the brain” type of movie, you know the typical violent, bad acting, no storyline type of movie, but we were pleasantly surprised with the excellent acting, especially by Barbara Hershey, she did a wonderful job, the scenes and storyline were believable, as we’ve heard about this very same thing happening with other travelers to Latin American countries. The movie is based on a true story, by the way.

This TV-based movie will stir your emotions; there is some violence but not continuous brutal violence that puts you to sleep; the movie moves right along in each new scene and keeps you interested until the very last. 

We recommend this movie not just for the entertainment aspect of it but for wisdom when traveling abroad. I think when we travel again with “checked” luggage; we’ll have it locked so no one can just open it up and plant whatever they want, or we won’t “check” any luggage and just use carry-ons.

We watched the movie on our Ecuador Netflix and it is called “Left to Die”; Five thumbs up for her bravery and for the persistence of her daughter. 

The one thing that was never made apparent in the end, was whom the drugs were planted by:  the bad apples in authority, drug runners, or if her ex boyfriend planted them. Watch the movie and let us know what you think?

If you liked this article, we think you'll like this video too!

                What Is the Quito Airport Like?
We're an Expat Family of Five, Living Frugal, Healthy and Happy Abroad. We live in Cuenca, Ecuador and travel the Ecuador coast whenever we get a chance. We just adventured throughout the country of Panama for five weeks! Come along and enjoy some of our experiences with us!


  1. Going to watch it but don't understand what the authorities would have to benefit in planting anything in luggage or anywhere else. Ecuador is very vigilant when it comes to drugs it's a big no, no. Anyway will watch the movie if I can find it thanks. :) Puttytat

    1. Hi Puttytat,...of course we meant "bad people" in authority. Thanks for commenting.

    2. This just out on the wire...BREAKING NEWS....Ecuador police officers Linked to Drug Trafficking Arrested: Full story here:

    3. Prisons in every country are filled with innocent people.Simply ask the prisoners they are ALL innocent.As far as locking you luggage goes ,I recently lost the key to my luggage while in Thailand I had a good lock $16 it wasn't a cheapee I went to the local market and a fellow who made keys picked the lock in less then 10 seconds

  2. In the airport video you didn't mention "paying for your parking"
    You have to do this outside at one of the machines using the ticket given when you entered. If you get to the gates to leave and you haven't paid, you are told to go back (reverse of traffic flow) and get a paid voucher. This procedure can be very troubling if you don't know about it.
    Carter Hall GM
    Land of the Sun Hotel
    Cotacachi, Ecuador


HMFamilyLife and Discover Cuenca Ecuador Comment Policy
We welcome applicable and respectful comments. Off-topic comments may be removed.