Jiménez, 42, was a Mexican immigrant who passed away in December 2013 in hospital days after she reportedly hung herself at Vancouver International Airport. She was awaiting deportation in the custody of Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).
To coincide with the inquest’s opening, those groups held a press conference outside the Coroner’s Court in Burnaby earlier today.
A rally and vigil are planned for 6:30 p.m. this evening at Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s Vancouver office at 300 West Georgia Street.
In the meantime, the coalition of immigration groups has released a list of questions they hope to see answered by the coroner’s inquest.
- Why did CBSA not immediately report Vega Jiménez’s death?
- What happened that caused her to commit suicide?
- Why was she in the custody of private security guards who allegedly lacked knowledge of situations specific to migrants?
- Why did it take so long to get her to a hospital?
- What happened to Vega Jiménez’s savings?
- What role, if any, did the Consulate General of Mexico in Vancouver play in supporting Vega Jiménez’s family? Why they did not say anything?
- What was the situation while Vega Jiménez was in detention at Vancouver International Airport?
- What sort of access, if any, did she have to health and legal services while in CBSA custody?
“With these questions in mind, we mobilize migrants and civil liberties groups to call for answers,” reads an email from Byron Cruz, a Vancouver-based migrant-rights activist.
The inquest is expected to continue at the Coroner’s Court in Burnaby through the week.