Mexican woman dies in border services custody

(QMI Agency, FILE)

(QMI Agency, FILE)

David P. Ball, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:21 PM ET

VANCOUVER -- The B.C. Coroners Service has confirmed the death of a Mexican national being held by Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) on Dec. 28

Lucia Vega Jimenez, 42, died in Vancouver’s Mount St. Joseph’s Hospital. The cause of her death hasn’t been revealed because it is an “open case under active investigation,” Coroner spokeswoman Barb McLintock told QMI Agency.

“She had been taken to hospital in the early morning hours of Dec. 20, 2013, from the Canada Border Services Agency holding cells at Vancouver International Airport.”

Although it’s unknown why she was being held by CBSA, Jimenez was transferred to the agency’s cells the previous day from a provincial correctional facility.

QMI Agency learned of her death last week from Mexican journalist Karla Lottini, 40, who had fled threats at home to come to B.C.

The Surrey, B.C., resident was nearly deported two years ago until protests from migrant activists were staged and the government reversed its decision.

“I want to know (Jimenez's) story, what reason she came here, why she got sent to the detention centre and how she lost her life,” Lottini said. “I can imagine the despair in that situation.

“Last year they deported another Mexican woman and she was killed very soon after they deported her. A lot of people are coming here to save their lives.”

Lottini called the circumstances of Jimenez's death suspicious and called for more information and better monitoring of immigrant detentions.

A CBSA spokeswoman said Jimenez was a "short-term detainee" and that the agency co-operating with Richmond RCMP and the coroner's investigation but couldn't comment further.

 


Videos

Photos