A British woman accused of drug trafficking in Peru said she and her friend "were not smuggling for money, we were smuggling for our lives".
Melissa Reid, 19, from Scotland, told the Daily Mirror they were threatened at gunpoint by gangsters and "had no option" but attempt to smuggle an estimated £1.5 million worth of cocaine.
The Archbishop of Lima Sean Walsh, who visited the Irish and British women in prison, told ITV News he believed the pair would use coercion as their defence.
The Irish-American Archbishop also said the pair had told him they were threatened by Colombian gangsters.
He claimed the women were held for a while by the gang before being taken to Morocco and back again to Peru.
ITV News Correspondent Juliet Bremner reports:
The pair, who are accused of smuggling an estimated £1.5 million worth of cocaine out of South America, are due to appear in court tomorrow.
Peter Madden, the solicitor to the family of Ms McCollum Connolly, released a statement saying the 20-year-old denied any involvement in drug smuggling.
The mother of Ms McCollum Connolly, Nora, said her family were going through a difficult time and added that "the situation is terrible for everyone."
She said: "At the moment we don't know anything. We don't know what is happening at all."
The father of Melissa Reid, William, said his family were going through "a living nightmare" and have not slept since they found out.
William Reid said there was "no way" his daughter would have willingly planned to smuggle drugs and he believed she may have been "groomed" by somebody she thought was a friend she made on holiday.
He said his daughter is "bright, beautiful, bubbly and intelligent, just like her Facebook page shows" and during a brief conversation with Ms Reid, he told her to be strong and not get too emotional.
Earlier, a video emerged of the pair moments after they were arrested in Peru as they tried to board a flight to Madrid.
Police claim the pair were found with 24lb of cocaine hidden in food packets in their luggage.
In the video, Ms Reid says "I was forced to take these bags in my luggage," and added that "she did not know" her bag contained drugs.
Both Ms Reid and Ms McCollum Connolly left their home for separate holidays in Ibiza earlier this summer.
Ms McCollum Connolly was at the centre of an online social media appeal last week after her family said she had not contacted them for 12 days.
Lead investigator Major Manuel Siclla told the Scottish Sun the women were worried about "what the future holds for them".
The Foreign Office in London confirmed it is helping a British national and the Irish Embassy in Mexico City is also helping Ms McCollum Connolly and her family.