Yanira Maldonado shares video as proof of innocence - WNEM TV 5

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Yanira Maldonado shares video as proof of innocence

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Gary and Yanira Maldonado (Source: CBS 5 News) Gary and Yanira Maldonado (Source: CBS 5 News)
Gary and Yanira Maldonado (Source: CBS 5 News) Gary and Yanira Maldonado (Source: CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

A Valley mother spent more than a week in a Mexican jail in May – accused of smuggling marijuana onto a passenger bus.

Yanira Maldonado was eventually freed, but the Mexican government is appealing her release.

The Goodyear woman and her husband Gary Maldonado are sharing surveillance video from the Tufesa bus stop where they boarded.

They tell CBS5 News it's crucial, because the footage proves her innocence.

The Maldonados said they want the public to see for themselves that neither of them boarded the bus near Hermosillo, Mexico with drugs.

"It's very important because, there are some people that believe that I was guilty of that," said Yanira Maldonado. "And, I'm not. It's for me, for my children, for my family."

It's been about five weeks since a judge freed her a Nogales jail.

Yanira Maldonado spent nine days behind bars, accused of smuggling 12 pounds of marijuana onto a Tufesa bus and attaching the drugs under her seat.

The key to her release was surveillance video, showing Yanira and Gary Maldonado boarding the passenger bus as they made their way back to Arizona after attending her aunt's funeral.

"It proves what I always said, that I wasn't guilty of that, and it proves that I went in with two bottles of waters," said Yanira Maldonado.

The video shows Yanira Maldonado wearing a white top with a small purse hanging from her shoulder.

Gary Maldonado is shown wearing a blue shirt and holding a blanket, which he folds before boarding.

The husband and wife were the last passengers to get on the bus.

"It's one of the only things we have to prove her innocence, and the two witnesses - the way to prove those witnesses were on the bus - is through the video as well, because they [Tufesa] didn't have a log," said Gary Maldonado.

The video will be vital again, because Yanira Maldonado's ordeal isn't over.

The Mexican government is appealing the judge's decision.

Her attorney in Mexico is working the case – which could take another two months.

But, Yanira Maldonado said she must fight to clear her name, so she can visit her large family again in Mexico.

"I want to go back to Mexico," she said. "I have family; my grandma, she raised me. My mom is still there."

The legal fight is costly.

The Maldonados are looking at a tab of about $20,000, which they said they don't have to spend.

Supporters of the couple have set up a fund – to help pay for Yanira Maldonado's defense.

Click here to make a donation. You can also follow Yanira Maldonado's legal case – by visiting this Facebook page.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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