The BC Coroners Service is currently conducting an inquest into the death of Lucia Vega Jimenez. Jimenez was a 42-year Mexican hotel worker who died while in the Canadian Border Service Agency’s custody. Prior to her scheduled deportation to Mexico, she hung herself while being detained at the Vancouver International Airport. She died eight days later on December 28, 2013.
Battered Women’s Support Services (BWSS) Legal Advocate, Vicky Law, and BWSS Manager of Direct Services and Clinical Practice, Rosa Elena Arteaga attended the six day inquest. Rosa Elena Arteaga appeared as a witness for the Coroner on Monday, October 6, 2014 in which she shared the realities of many women in Mexico who have to flee gender violence in their country, such as Jimenez, experience.
Women in Mexico face particular vulnerability. As it has been reported over the past six years, the collapse of the rule of law in Mexico has brought wide spread and extreme violence including abductions, rapes, and murder. More women have been murdered in Mexico than ever before. We, BWSS, learned through the inquest that Lucia spoke to several people about her fears of returning to Mexico because of an ex boyfriend and fear of being tortured and murdered. A nurse testified to seeing several scars on Lucia’s body that indicated past assaults. BWSS’ appearance at the inquest was to speak to the complexity of the intersection of gender violence with women’s migration and the implications when women’s immigration status is precarious.
Through her careful testimony, Rosa Elena powerfully illuminated how the experiences of women are unique from men’s and how Battered Women’s Support Services works with women facing gender violence and precarious immigration status.
Battered Women’s Support Services continues to work for an effective systemic response for women who experience male violence. Since Rosa Elena’s appearance at the inquest, yesterday, we have been in communication with Canadian Border Service Agency and Alouette Correctional Centre for Women (one of the facilities where Lucia was detained) with the intention moving change forward.
Read more here:
Groups Call for Independent Investigation into Jiménez’s Death in Custody; Deliver Petition with 7,000 Signatures to CBSA Offices
If you could do something to end violence against girls and women, wouldn’t you?