“A woman between the ages of 20 and 30 was found murdered — and with evidence of childbirth — with blows to her body and a bullet in the forehead, a classic revenge from drug trafficking,” said a June 5 story in the Mexican newspaper El Informador de Jalisco.
A death certificate later classified the woman’s death as a homicide.
What the coroner’s office didn’t mention was that the 24-year-old murder victim and her mother and sister had twice sought refuge in Canada, in 2004 and 2008, from drug traffickers.
The same men are thought to have kidnapped and killed young Grise, leaving the fate of her baby unknown, after she was forced back to Mexico.
Grise’s tragic death highlights the need to give refugees a right to appeal when their applications are rejected, say Toronto advocates.
“We need to have an immigration ombudsman to look into mistakes made in the immigration and refugee system,” said Francisco Rico-Martinez of FCJ Hamilton House refugee shelter, which the family contacted for help. “The system does make mistakes.”
Both Immigration Minister Jason Kenney’s office and the Immigration and Refugee Board declined to comment on the case.
On Tuesday, Parliament’s citizenship and immigration committee voted 6-5 to establish an appeal division to hear the cases of failed refugee claimants. All five Conservative MPs voted against it.
The recommendation now goes to Parliament for a vote that will hinge on Liberal support.
Both the New Democrats and Bloc Québécois staunchly support an appeal unit.
FCJ Hamilton House persuaded the federal government to issue a visitor’s visa so the surviving mother and sister could return to Canada earlier this month.
“I am happy and sad to be back,” said a tearful Nuemi, the dead woman’s mother. “I’m sad because my daughter had to be killed in order for Canada to believe in our story. The price is just too high.” She asked that her family’s full names not be published out of fear for her relatives’ safety in Mexico.