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Mexico "angry" with in-custody death

The Mexican government is "quite angry" after one of its citizens died last month while in the custody of the Canada Border Services Agency, the country's consul general in Vancouver said Friday.

Claudia Franco said her government is calling for a thorough investigation into the tragedy.

Lucia Vega Jimenez, 42, was found hanging in a shower stall in a holding cell at Vancouver's airport on Dec. 20, and died in hospital a week later.

During an interview, Franco said her government was informed of the suicide attempt the same day, one day before Vega Jimenez was to be deported from Canada.

"Any death concerning a Mexican national is a big issue," said Franco.

Franco said she has formally asked the border agency for information on the circumstances of the death, and the consulate has contacted the BC Coroners Service.

"We are quite angry about what happened. We expect the authorities to conduct an impartial investigation."

Roslyn MacVicar, regional director general for the border-services agency, issued a statement Friday, offering her deepest condolences to the family.

"As the BC Coroners Service investigation is ongoing, I am not in a position to provide specific details of the incident," she added.

MacVicar said the agency alerted first responders and the RCMP immediately, and notified other independent organizations including the consulate in Vancouver.

She said the agency never requested a confidentiality agreement from the family.

Vega Jimenez was taken into custody at Vancouver International Airport last month, but news of her death only surfaced in the media earlier this week.

The Canadian Press
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