LETTER: Jimenez death in CBSA Vancouver - Oh Canada - a land of Prisons and pipelines
I am appalled by the jailing and the subsequent death in custody of CBSA in Vancouver, of Lucia Vega Jimenez – a 42 year old Mexican woman working to save money to care for her ailing mother.
Days before Christmas, she was jailed for not having bus-fare and not having immigration papers!! While alone in CBSA cells, awaiting deportation, she tried to hang herself and was not discovered hanging for an hour. No news on this tragedy was released for almost one month.
As a Canadian, I am shamed, shamed, shamed by the treatment this woman received at the hands of our government. I hope this horrific tragedy alerts all Canadians to what is happening under this government. Our Canadian compassion is being destroyed, while we become a nation of prisons and pipelines.
The growing agenda to build more prisons – to lock up both immigrants and Canadians is horrifying. Instead of swallowing the on-going fear-mongering regarding refugees, immigrants or terrorists, let’s ponder who the real terrorists are. Let’s talk about the agenda Canadians really fear, perhaps being imposed without our awareness.
A famous couple, known as Mary and Jesus would most likely be imprisoned in the very prison cells where Ms. Jimenez’s life ended, had they the misfortune to arrive in Canada today in their circumstances. Just imagine, little prison cell scenes on church lawns across the globe, instead of the manger scene. I picture them watching a withered maple leaf crashing to the ground outside the prison window.
Let’s have public discussions about our treatment of immigrants and refugees – most of our grandparents might now be jailed or expelled if they had to undergo the current regime’s process’ – many certainly would never be able to pass the increasingly difficult Citizenship tests. How about the investments in building more and more prisons, not to mention pipelines. How about the fact that the prison security is outsourced to security agents with 2 weeks training (a lucrative business) – those who did not look in on Ms. Jimenez for an hour while she was strangling.
Canadian compassion remains alive and well – right after hearing of the death of this woman, I heard of folks in Newfoundland spending their afternoon to free a moose trapped in deep snow. This is but one example of Canadian compassion at work. To everyone who volunteers – at food banks, at thrift-stores, anywhere – let’s keep the Compassion growing and let’s talk about what is happening to our nation…and work to ensure this is the Canada we believe in and are proud of, rather than so deeply ashamed of.
I urge Canadians to sign the on-line petition asking for an inquiry into the death of Ms. Jimenez in CBSA at Vancouver airport http://chn.ge/1kavtbV .