A B.C. woman who survived a shooting in Mexico with serious injuries is warning other travellers to be cautious after she says she got little help from either government to get back home.
Hiba Sheikh says she went to San Luis Potosí, a region north of Mexico City, on Aug. 29 to visit her friend. The pair decided the next evening to go out to a restaurant for dinner.
“We were sitting and eating and talking [on the balcony], and all of a sudden I hear a big bang, like firework sounds,” she told Global News Thursday.
“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 immediately dropped to the ground, where she said she saw “blood everywhere.” She then looked down at her leg, which had been shot and twisted.
“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.”
Several bystanders helped treat Sheikh’s wounds and keep her awake until paramedics took over and transported her to hospital.
Sheikh said the bullet had gone up through the balcony and into her ankle, shattering several bones in her foot before coming out the other side.
“I guess maybe they were shooting at someone, but I don’t know,” she said.
No one else appears to have been killed or injured in the shooting, which is being investigated by Huasteca Norte regional police and the Attorney General of the State of San Luis Potosí. No suspects have been identified or arrested.
Investigators have told local media they found five 32-gauge casings on the pavement, which have been sent for analysis.
Sheikh said her main concern was getting home the next day when her flight was scheduled. But she had a hard time getting answers from either government in Mexico or Canada.
“They [Global Affairs Canada] 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.”
As for Mexico’s government, Sheikh says the governor of San Luis Potosí promised to pay her travel and medical expenses, but nothing came from that promise. She ultimately flew back to Canada two days later.
Global Affairs Canada said it provided consular services to Sheikh, and officials are in contact with local authorities to gather additional information.
Global News has reached out to the San Luis Potosí government for comment.
Between a lack of help and a lack of arrests, Sheikh said she feels let down.
“The guy’s running free and I want justice because he owes me big time,” she said. “This is not a joke.”
Sheikh said it could be between six and seven months before she can walk freely again. She’s currently bedridden at her home in Surrey and needs assistance completing basic tasks.
She added that when is fully healed, there’s one place she’ll never go again.
“I don’t ever want to go back to that country,” she said. “It’s a matter of safety.”
The Mazatlan Post