NEWS

Lucia Jimenez arrested over fare before death in CBSA cell

01/29/2014 04:17 EST | Updated 03/31/2014 05:59 EDT
News of Lucia Vega Jimenez's death in December, after being found in medical distress in an immigration holding cell at Vancouver International Airport, has angered many in international and local communities.

After some details surrounding the 42-year-old's death were made public Tuesday, almost a month after she died, Vancouver-based advocacy group No One Is Illegal launched a petition calling for a full, independent civilian inquiry into her death.

A written release from the group said Jimenez had a job as a hotel worker in Vancouver when she was arrested last month over an unpaid transit ticket, transferred to jail and then sent to the CBSA holding cells at the airport to await deportation.

The group said it has confirmed that Vega Jimenez attempted to hang herself in the holding cells and died one week later at a Vancouver hospital.

By midday Wednesday, nearly 500 people had signed the petition. 

The petition, which also calls for a comprehensive review of migrant detention policies, is addressed to nine people, including CBSA officials, Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney and Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

No One Is Illegal said it is also planning a vigil to honour Jimenez on Friday afternoon in front of the CBSA offices in downtown Vancouver.

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