Canada Deporting Another Gay Refugee

April 16th, 2008

Incoming Deportee

Ah, another month, another deported gay refugee. This time it’s 39-year-old Joaquin Ramirez, who fled El Salvador in 2006 by coming to Canada as a delegate during the International AIDS conference. Once here, he was among the 160 conference attendees who applied for asylum, but one of an unspecified minority that was denied it.

Francisco Rico-Martinez, the director of Toronto’s FCJ Refugee Centre, was amazed:

What we found shocking in Joaquin’s case is that the risk of being a gay person in El Salvador was not properly assessed in these decisions [to deport him].

Joaquin, who is an HIV-positive outreach worker with the Young Men’s Christian Association, says that he was beaten and raped by police in El Salvador, and was issued death threats five months later when one of the officers who attacked him became infected. Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board rejected Joaquin’s story, asking why he didn’t apply for police protection back at home before coming here.