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Coroner confirms woman in CBSA custody attempted suicide

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – The BC Coroners Service is confirming┬áthat a woman who died last month after being held at YVR, had been found hanging in a shower stall at the airport’s Immigration Holding Centre.

Lucia Vega Jimenez was taken to Mount St. Joseph Hospital where she died eight days later.

“While we cannot prevent speculation about the events surrounding the death of Ms. Vega Jimenez, the Coroners Service will continue to carefully gather the facts using the broad authorities available to us,” Lapointe says. “I can confirm that all of those contacted for information about the circumstances of the death, including federal and provincial agencies, are fully co-operating with Coroners Service investigators.”

Others are calling for a full inquiry. The federal NDP’s public safety critic, Randall Garrison, says the coroner can’t answer all the questions. “The question of whether the proper procedures, guidelines and laws were followed is a different question which the Minister of Public Safety has a responsibility to inquire into.”

Public safety critic Randall Garrison says there are questions that a coroner’s investigation can’t answer. “We said that a death in custody is always a trgedy and always a major public concern.”

Meantime, Karla Lottini is among the organizers of a vigil on Friday. “What I want is to stop this kind of tragedy. I mean, immigration laws are very, very hard.”

Canada Border Services Agency has issued a statement but refused to answer questions by telephone. “The health and safety of those in our care is of paramount concern,” reads part of the statement. “We take this responsibility very seriously and it is important to determine the circumstances surrounding any loss of life.”

The BC Coroners Service says it hasn’t yet decided whether to hold an inquest into Jiminez’s death.