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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Investigation sought after visitor dies in custody of border services agency

VANCOUVER - Civil liberties activists in British Columbia are demanding answers after the in-custody death of a 42-year-old woman being held by the Canada Border Services Agency.

BC Civil Liberties Association executive director Josh Paterson identifies the victim as Lucia Vega Jimenez and says CBSA must be accountable for the death of anyone in their care and custody.

Paterson is calling for an independent, civilian investigation, saying that is the only way the public will have confidence in the results.

Coroner Barb McLintock has confirmed Jimenez, who was not a Canadian citizen, was taken into custody at Vancouver International Airport last month, transferred to cells there on Dec. 19, and collapsed shortly afterwards.

She died in a Vancouver hospital on Dec. 28.

McLintock says the coroners service isn't prepared to speculate about the cause or classification of the death because the investigation is preliminary, but she says it is being treated as an in-custody incident, so an inquest will automatically be ordered.

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