The BCCLA has submitted proposed recommendations for consideration by the jury in the Coroner’s Inquest into the in-custody death of Lucía Vega Jiménez. She was being detained by the Canada Border Services Agency when she hanged herself in a detention facility washroom at Vancouver International Airport in December 2013. The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA), which has raised questions publicly about her death since it first came to light through media reports in January 2014, was a participant in the inquest.
Among are recommendations are the following:
- the underground YVR detention centre should no longer be used for immigration detentions of any duration as it does not have sufficient access to light or fresh air, or areas for recreation, visitations, or private meetings with counsel; any detention facility at YVR or elsewhere must meet internationally-recognized standards for such facilities;
- private security companies, such as Genesis Security, should no longer be contracted by the CBSA to supervise and care for immigration detainees; only government agencies should be permitted to guard and care for detainees, and these should not be the same individuals who are responsible for enforcement or other functions within CBSA; and
- an organization that provides independent, civilian oversight and review of the CBSA should be established as soon as practicable; further, there should be independent civilian investigation of deaths in custody or other critical incidents involving the CBSA, similar in principle to the Independent Investigations Office of BC;