A Colombian model was arrested during a trip to China for allegedly possessing drugs in her computer and is now facing the death penalty.
The family and friends of 22-year-old Juliana Lopez told the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo that the beauty pageant winner has been detained in China after leaving for the country two weeks ago.
She is being charged with smuggling psychoactive drugs in her computer, which in China is punishable by life in prison or the death penalty. She was arrested July 18 at the airport in Guangzhou, the newspaper reported.
Lopez was scheduled to compete in the Miss World Medellin pageant this week but instead is sitting in a Chinese jail as her family desperately tries to work with international officials to help her.
Her family lost contact with her during the trip and contacted the embassy in China which recently confirmed her arrest.
Lopez plays for a local soccer club team and her coach Alejandro Duque told the newspaper they are planning an exhibition match to raise money for her mother and a lawyer to come to China.
He told the newspaper: ‘Lopez is a good girl, student, model and was always committed to her team’.
Her friend Lis Hernandez told the website: ‘she went to China to collect clothing, accessories and other souvenirs she could sell back home’.
‘My heart tells me she is not guilty’, Hernandez said. ‘You cannot condemn it yet, I have hope that she is innocent and everything is clear’.