BCCLA reacts to death of woman in Canada Border Services custody

VANCOUVER – Josh Paterson, Executive Director of the BC Civil Liberties Association, reacted this morning to a report that Lucia Vega Jiménez died while in custody of the Canada Border Services Agency in late December:

“Nobody should die while they are in the custody of law enforcement. The Canada Border Services Agency must be accountable for this tragic death of a woman who was in their care and custody. The public needs answers. How did this happen? Could this tragedy have been prevented?

Unlike other law enforcement agencies in BC, there is no independent oversight of the Canada Border Services Agency’s operations. We understand that the RCMP is investigating, but when deaths happen in the custody of law enforcement, we need to have an independent, civilian investigation of what happened in order for the public to have confidence in the results. As several commissions of inquiry in BC have reported, police-on-police investigation is not appropriate.”