In a series of stunning decisions, the Federal Court of Canada has jumped to the defence of Mexican women trying to stay in Canada to escape violence and abuse.

Six rulings in the last six weeks tossed aside decisions by the Immigration and Refugee Board. In one case, the board had declared that a 17-year-old girl’s kidnapping and rape by the Los Zetas drug gang was “horrific” but wasn’t bad enough to meet the threshold of “atrocious and appall­ing.”

All must now return to a different panel of the refu­gee board to have their case reheard for a final decision on whether they can stay.


“Unbearably high levels of violence against women continue to exist in Mexico,” a UN report quoted by the court said. “Police corruption continues to be a major problem and many police officers are involved in kidnapping and extortion.”

The court used that evidence in the case of Erika Zamora Huerta, who fled to Toronto because her common-law husband, a federal investigator with the Mexican police, beat her and hunted her down in another state.

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